A Wasted Generation

Guest writer former Blanketman Thomas "Dixie" Elliott writes on being part of a wasted generation

A Wasted Generation
Thomas "Dixie Elliott"

The problem with the likes of myself is that we are part of a wasted generation; wasted by the very same gobshites now cosying up to each other in government. The Paisleyites who rallied the mobs against Rome Rule and the likes of McGuinness and Adams who told us the war wouldn’t end until the Brits left.

It was they who opposed the Sunningdale Agreement – later reworded as the GFA – in 1973.

Adams from prison referred to the IRA leadership in 1975/76, who called the then ceasefire, as ‘so called Peacemakers’ and set about overthrowing them.

The bigots and the former generals on the hill now tell us to move on but why the fuck didn’t they move back then? Why didn’t they become so called Peacemakers in 1973 instead of waiting another 20 years?

Did we have to wait until the people started voting for the warmongers on the DUP and PSF side? Was that what it was really all about – a war for votes – for political power … so called?

I’ve heard the excuse from some members of PSF that the Unionists wouldn’t have accepted us back then. However after the 1994 ceasefire it took a hell of a long time and the dumping of Republicanism before the Unionists finally accepted a Shinner about the place – if they ever really did.

That’s the problem, if I or others oppose the crap that passes for government, we are opposed to peace. If we call those who sacrificed young men and women traitors for becoming Tory lackeys we want a return to the past. We have to move on they now tell us, as if we were hooligans gathered on street corners.

Move on where? I ask.

There is no war in the South nor is there a war in England and look at the shiteholes those places are – where drug dealing and crime is the best chance, outside of politics, of making a decent living. West Belfast; a stronghold of PSF since 1983, has along with Derry become the most under deprived areas in the so called ‘UK’. Ah but Gerry and Martin gave us peace so lets be grateful for that if nothing else.

I believe deep down the politicians need a so called ‘acceptable level of violence’ so that they can hide behind the ‘Peace Process’ I also believe as Republicans we can swipe that rug from under their feet by leaving the gun and bomb in the past.

But who am I? Only someone who has grown older as part of a wasted generation. Someone told to move on by the ‘Thought Police’ with no idea where they now want us to go.


  1. I wouldn't call you a wasted generation at all. The generation born from the late 40's to early 60's in the North showed tremendous courage fighting in the war, standing up to the state, taking everything the Brits threw at you, overthrowing Stormont, going on hunger strike, internment, the blanket. Every generation has wasters like Adams and McGuinness but for the most part your generation had something special. Compare that to the generation of teens and twenty somethings in Belfast today. God are they just complete useless wasters. Just some of the most uninteresting and uninspiring people I have ever met.

  2. Excellent article. That is where so many people are. Confusedly trying to make some sort of future at a late age in life made all the worse whilst watching sociopathic judas scum feather their wee padded nest at Stormont. Total and utter waste of time. The wrong people were being shot all down the years. Great wee article, tells it like it is.

  3. We as republicans need to start really thinking about what we are about, i believe we need to go back to our roots and start helping our communites out they are crying out for help on loads of issues, i think this is were the battle lies at the minute as we our at a crossroads either help the people out with day to day issues and build support for the republican project or carry on making grandstand statements every easter and fate into the wilderness.I would do a lot of work for the MP campaign in N.Belfast leaflets,erecting signs,posters etc and not one text message "whens the next protest" when them clowns announced the girdwood project my phone didnt stop with people demanding actions,just an example were the people are at.

  4. Dixie,

    that sums it up for many people. These people at some point decided - driven by their own ambitions - to prolong a war and play with people's lives. It should have been ended much sooner. McGuinness wasn't wearing a grass skirt, painted face and doing a rain dance for the queen, but the humiliation of republicanism was there for all to see.

    You make the most valid of points in regard to the labelling of those who see this in a way very different from SF. The hankering after the violent past accusation is so threadbare. Many republicans were calling for a total end to armed activity when big Harold Shipman wwas still doing people in own his own turf.

  5. We are heading down to the Springfield rd to see how Roberts mates behave,then on to the international wall on the corner of Northumberland st and the Falls rd,to highlight Marians plight. what was started in the late sixties is far from finished nationalists are still being discriminated in housing and justice,the cause may have been hijacked by carpetbaggers for their own selfish ambition,and now having reached the dizzy heights of puppet power they have become a clone of the old unionist junta,wilfully ignoring the plight of the prisoners and the discriminatory behaviour of their colleagues and indeed their own party members,they are now yesterdays news,we the nationalist people have no real choice,but to fight on,its a case simply put sink or swim!

  6. Just back from international wall great response from the tourist but not so great from the local "community" police force out in force with cameras etc and big harry (crj)driving up and down the road behind them.

  7. and he's not in a black taxi.....couldnt help myself.lol

  8. A Wasted Generation is not and never would be the description I would have given to the men women and children who had to firstly fight of their neighbours then the armed forces of the government. We have something called free will and the right to do and follow whoever we want. Choices had to be made some followed the tried and tested IRA way that had failed on every occasion and others tried the more peaceful way. No one will ever know which way was best but most people would opt for the peaceful way as less people get hurt. My point being is that its very convenient to blame Adams and Mc Guinness for selling out and blaming them for everything when there was a choice of going the peaceful way, we had a choice either follow John Hume or Gerry Adams , and in mentioning John Hume it is amazing how after all the mayhem caused by the Provo’s they then ran to Hume asking him “how does this peaceful way work” and John said you will have shake the Queen’s hand someday and accept the RUC and get a well paid job with perks and the Provo’s said yippee bring it on , by the way he was saying the same words in the early 70’s
    A waste of time maybe but never a wasted Generation

  9. 'We have to move on they now tell us, as if we were hooligans gathered on street corners.'


    That’s one hell of a point your making in that sentence. Well said.

  10. Dixie.

    That's a great piece you have written, I was born in 44, so I don't think you should feel wasted, I feel it as being used, and the 73 agenda was a no go for psf then, they wanted to be sure they could be elected with, what they thought as, full power, and, Nothing was allowed to stand in there way, as for the shinners saying the unionist would not have accepted them in 73, My question is, Did they approach any of them?, because they sure as hell approached the brits, even today, they have there mongs walking about and driving about taking photos just like the RUC/PSNI were doing, as for the locals, they are not all thinking like PSF, the thumb screws are still being applied to retain power, I wouldn't be surprised if PSF changed there manifesto and came out for elections next year as NSF, New SF, as marty states, "Nationalists are are still being discriminated against, we have Internment through the back door, Its at times like this that we have to say, I'm not being used anymore, enough is enough, I remember My father saying to me, "Son, there's no such thing as a hard man, because there is always someone else who can beat him.

  11. SF are unionists. McGuinness was on Miriam's chat show last night and when asked if it was all worth it seeing as you never got a united Ireland he retorted, but 'they' don't have their one party state either. So, YES, it was worth it, Marty is now in Stormont. So, that's what it was all about.

  12. It's sad to read articles like this by former IRA prisoners, but on the evidence of the last 18 years I have to reluctantly agree with the sentiments. I take no pleasure whatsoever from criticising Sinn Fein. Like many other republican movement supporters outside of Ireland, I put my faith in the leadership and their strategy with regard to the peace process, but in doing so I think I was blind to what was really going on under the surface and how fundamentally the movement was retreating from core republican principles.

    In effect, as in other periods of militancy followed by political maneuvering, those who sacrificed the most appear to have been forgotten in favour of political expediency. In effect, militant republicanism is dead for at least another generation...imho. Power sharing in the 6 Counties, with the long term target of being 'power brokers' in the 26 Counties (i.e. holding the balance of power in the Dail) is the net outcome of 30 years of war.

    It's somewhat ironic that, as a Scot of Irish descent, I will probably live to see an independent Scotland achieved by entirely peaceful political means, but I very much doubt that I will see a United 32 County Irish Republic in my lifetime, in spite of the sacrifice of a whole generation of republicans.


  13. The Betrayed Generation NOT the Wasted Generation. You did what you did in faith/integrity for the next generation and were all betrayed...
    RE: 'Move on where? I ask.'
    Stay strong & adhere to what is right - the young generation have to rise up. You have done all you could and more than many would. The Thought Police are diversionary tactics attempting to blur realities.

  14. Very profound and poignant those last few lines.

  15. Dixie,

    sad to read you think the men and women who fought the war miltarily and politically were a 'wasted' generation, I don't.

    Also, your comparison of Sunningdale to the GFA is lazy, are you seriously suggesting the Sunningdale agreemet was the same a the GFA?

  16. half and half, I would compare Sunningdale to the GFA, and to say other ways would be very naive.

    That was a well written piece Dixie.