Henry's Songbook

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The Battle Of Stormont

  • Colum Sands

    Now you've read in the pages of history
    Of great battles that were fought in the past
    But I sing of a battle more recent
    That took place in the town of Belfast

    There's a big house they call Stormont Castle
    And that's where the action was seen
    When an army of professors and preachers
    Took on the great strength of the Queen

    Now the soldiers all sat round a table
    And pretended they were good friends
    But if soldiers make money by fighting
    When peace comes their money will end

    So the general who was also a preacher
    (Reverend Ian!)
    Felt his round collar hurting his neck
    So he jumped to his feet with an almighty roar
    And that was the sign for attack

    His chief gunner was also a professor
    So he knew he would make a sure hit
    As he bravely jumped onto a table
    And let fly from his mouth a big shit

    Poor Brian was seriously wounded
    But he still had the nerve not to quit
    As he lay in a pool of saliva
    Saying, Thank God it was only a spit

    Then the Queen's army moved into action
    As so often before in the street
    And after two hours of persuasion
    The enemy had to retreat

    While the SLDP and Alliance
    They all sat at ease in the rear
    And when they saw they had no one to fight with
    They killed time drinking whiskey and beer

    Now a battle has only one winner
    And my winner was Eileen Paisley
    (that's the Reverend's wife!)
    As soon as her husband went out through the door
    She sat down on Bob Cooper's knee (The author can't remember why.)

    And that is the end of my story
    And I'm sure that we'll all understand
    That while we have mad politicians
    We'll never have peace in our land

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1974:] Da die britischen Politiker immer stärker unter Druck gerieten, eine politische Lösung für die irischen Probleme zu finden, wurde eine Versammlung mit geteilter Exekutivgewalt einberufen. Für die protestantischen Extremisten wie Reverend Ian Paisley und Professor Lindsay war eine Gewaltenteilung unannehmbar. Dies ist ein ironisch gemeintes Lied über ihre Versuche, die Versammlung zu sprengen und aufzulösen durch Mittel, wie sie gewöhnlich nicht von Politikern angewendet werden.

    SDLP - Social Democratic and Labour Party, die Partei der liberalen Bourgeoisie; treibt mit der brutalen Unterdrückung, die die katholische Bevölkerung erleidet, ihr Geschäft; greift populäre Forderungen, z. B. nach Aufhebung der Internierung, auf, um sich als Führer der katholischen Bevölkerung aufzubauen. Ihre Mitglieder sind Opportunisten, die das Elend der Massen benutzen, um in einem "reformierten" Nordirland an die Macht zu kommen.

    Alliance - eine gemäßigte Partei in Ulster, deren Mitglieder hauptsächlich Angehörige des Mittelstandes sind. Die Sands Family nennt die Alliance eine "moderate 'middle of the road' political party". (Notes Sands Family, 'The Winds Are Singing Freedom')

  • [1975:] [Defence Secretary Lord Carrington] is appalled by the bigotry, drunkenness and stupidity of the Unionist Party in Ulster, and is in general very gloomy. [...] Faulkner is a real politician, flexible, ambitious and unscrupulous. He is the only man, in Carrington's opinion, who stands between them and direct rule from Westminster, which the Government would only implement under dire compulsion. The Government will do its best to prop Faulkner up, but is well aware that if an election took place not one moderate Stormont Unionist would be returned, and that almost certainly Paisley would take over. He regards Paisley as a man of such extreme views that no dickerings with him are possible. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Apr 8th, 1971, p 99)

    The White Paper on Northern Ireland came out at two o'clock this afternoon [announcing a power-sharing Assembly for the Province and an All-Ireland Council]. The All-Ireland Council has no powers: the idea of uniting Catholics and Protestants in running the Six Counties is unworkable in the present state of inter-sectarian feeling. [...] Two definite pledges are made: (1) to keep the British Army in Northern Ireland indefinitely; and (2) that the status of Northern Ireland will not be changed, except with the consent of the majority of its inhabitants. Neither in the long term can be sustained. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Mar 20th, 1973, p 272)

    On the radio this evening it is announced that all Protestant organizations in Northern Ireland, except Faulkner, have rejected the White Paper but plan to get what they want by democratic means. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Mar 21st, 1973, p 273)

    The violence continues; preparations go forward for [...] the Assembly elections at the end of next month. Paisley is quite confident that whatever the results of the latter he can make the Government White Paper policy unworkable. He wants integration with Great Britain; but if this is not to be had, sees a way out in self-government within the Commonwealth. There are reports from Dublin that the new Government there [led by Liam Cosgrave, Fine Gael] is considering the recognition of the independence of the Province. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, May 2oth, 1973, p 288)

    The Assembly meets on July 31st, and has to be working at latest by next March. However, Willie [Whitelaw, the Northern Ireland Minister] will not drag out the probationary period as long as that. He will want to have it working fairly soon - or else close it down as an executive body. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, July 20th, 1973, p 303)

    At Stormont they are said to have arrived at a compromise acceptable to the Alliance Party, the S.D.L.P. and Faulkner. Craig's comment was that the deal would see Whitelaw through till tomorrow - but no further! (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Nov 22nd, 1973, p 323f.)

    Whitelaw announced the composition of the power-sharing executive. This has been greeted in the House [of Commons], and in the papers, as a huge victory. In the debate following Whitelaw's announcement, the plan was damned by most of the Northern Ireland M.P.s stretching from Captain Orr to Bernadette (late) Devlin. Craig has suggested it was a propaganda exercise that will hold up for a day or two. The I.R.A. and the U.V.F. have damned it out of hand. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Nov 23rd, 1973, p 324)

    The Unionist meeting was held in Belfast yesterday and Faulkner was badly defeated [over the Sunningdale Agreement]. He says he is going to soldier on [as Chief Executive of the Assembly], and he has had encouraging noises from London and Dublin [...]. Nevertheless, the writing is on the wall and the Heath-Whitelaw plan for Northern Ireland is a ruin, as was clearly to be foreseen. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Jan 5th, 1974, p 339)

    To avoid being deposed Faulkner resigned from the leadership of the Unionist Party, and is now talking of forming a break-away Unionist group. [Paisley] says Harry West will be the new Unionist leader and that they plan to bring the Executive to a full stop. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Jan 10th, 1974, p 339)

    [Paisley] says there has been a big change of heart among the Unionists. They no longer feel their former loyalty to Great Britain, and are becoming as hostile to the British connection as are the Catholics. Paisley's present plan is to present a petition with 100,000 signatories to the House of Commons next month, with a demand for the abolition of the Executive and fresh elections. If this is refused a general strike will be declared, which will bring the whole of Northern Ireland to a standstill. [...] In an election Faulkner, he thinks, would be wiped out. He has no opinion of Fitt, but regards Hume as the effective leader of the S.D.L.P. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Jan 18th, 1974, p 341)

    Craig, William - Born 1924. [Unionist politician and M.P.]. Founder and Leader of Ulster Vanguard since 1972, and of Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party since 1973. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, p 395) [Younger son of Lord Craigavon???]

    Devlin, Bernadette (m. McAliskey) - Born 1947. Independent Unity M.P. for Mid-Ulster 1969-1974. Was the youngest M.P. in the House of Commons when elected. [Attempted strategy of not taking her seat at Westminster, following the example of the Sinn Fein M.P.s in 1918.] (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, p 395)

    Faulkner, Brian - Born 1921. [Unionist politician and M.P.]. Chief Executive Member, Northern Ireland Executive, 1974. [...] Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs [Northern Ireland Parliament] 1971-72. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, p 396)

    Hume, John - Born 1937. [S.D.L.P. politician, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Unionist leader David Trimble in 1998 for bringing about a viable agreement in Northern Ireland] (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, p 397)

    Gerry Fitt - ??? S.D.L.P. leader ???

  • [1997:] 21 Aug 1970: Northern Ireland's avowedly non-militaristic Social Democratic Labor Party was founded by Gerry Fitt, the former Stormont MP batoned by the RUC in the Derry civil rights campaign. (O'Brien, A Pocket History of the IRA 81)

Quelle:  Northern Ireland

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