Saturday, 21 February 2015


Unionist councillors call-in 'Irish language first' decision on council logo name
Newry, Mourne and Down council is to use the Irish equivalent of its name first on its new logo, followed by the English version

Newry, Mourne and Down council is to use the Irish equivalent of its name first on its new logo, followed by the English version
Newry, Mourne and Down council is to use the Irish equivalent of its name first on its new logo, followed by the English version

Unionist councillors of Newry, Mourne and Down District have formally requested to 'call-in' for consideration a decision to have the Irish version of its name appear above the English on its new logo.
It was passed by 14 votes for to five votes against.

"Councillors have 5 working days following publication of the minutes of subject they wish to call in.

A spokeswoman from the Council confirmed receipt of a Call-in from eight Councillors in relation to the decision.

In a statement the council said: "This has been called in on the basis of community impact grounds and, as it is an admissible call-in under section 41(1)(b) of the Local Government Act (NI) 2014, it has been referred by the Chief Executive for a legal opinion."

Calling in the decision, DUP Group Leader Garth Craig said it was creating a "cold house" for Unionists.

He said: “This new Council is inheriting an existing workforce with an under-representation of Protestants. If this decision is allowed to stand then it would exacerbate that unacceptable situation.

"Following on from the likes of the McCreesh park decision, the intent to create a cold house for Unionists will be clear for all to see. People should take confidence from the unity of purpose their representatives are showing to oppose this attempt to discriminate."

Ulster Unionist Party Group Leader, David Taylor said: “This council area has amongst the smallest Protestant and Unionist communities of all council areas in Northern Ireland.

"The manner in which nationalist councillors have tried to steam roller this decision without fulfilling legal requirements demonstrates this is an attempt to domineer and lord it over a vulnerable minority.

"Republicans and Nationalists must face up to the fact that the rights of the minority Unionist community have to be protected. They will be resisted at every opportunity in their attempts to ride roughshod over our rights, which are every bit as legitimate as the majority community in the District."

Both group leaders called on the Alliance and Independent councillors to support their call-in of this decision.

SDLP and Sinn Fein are also backing plans to implement the policy throughout Northern Ireland. It could see three new nationalist super councils - Fermanagh and Omagh, Derry and Strabane, and Mid Ulster - adopting the same policy for their logo for corporate stationery and vehicles.

Will 'Mistress Europe' Show the American the Door?

By Finian Cunningham

February 20, 2015 "ICH" - It's an age-old, tragic relationship. The mistress and her gadfly, selfish male-benefactor, who is really not a benefactor, but instead is more like her jealous, despotic jailer. Oh yeah, sure, he festoons her with cute presents now and again, chocolates, stockings, perfumes and the like. He also professes ardent devotion and vows to protect her. In return she gratifies his basic needs. But when it gets down to it, the mistress is dispensable, a plaything that is brutally discarded when he is done.

That pretty much sums up the relationship between the United States and Europe. Macho Washington is always reassuring the Europeans of his undying love and chivalrous defence from all sorts of supposed enemies. But it's a pathetic relationship, fundamentally, of unequals. Europe is expected to link arms and parade for the master on occasion. But if she so much as attempts to assert her rights, she is slapped down with boorish contempt. "Hey, babe, shut your mouth and fix me another drink."

In 1949, among the ashes of the Second World War, the US set up the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Despite its grandiloquent, chivalrous public profession of "alliance" the real purpose of NATO was to "keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down". Those are the unguarded words of the first NATO secretary-general, Lord Ismay.

That defined the essential subservient role of Europe as far as the Americans were really concerned. NATO was and still is not so much an alliance of protection. It is a bondage outfit that the Americans make the Europeans wear.

The real purpose of the US-led "alliance" was, and has remained, the ability of America to straddle Europe, to assert its hegemony, and to make sure Europe always performed as a tool for US power to transcend. Europe could not ever be strong and independent in the eyes of Washington. Least of all, Europe could never contemplate having normal cordial relations with its neighbouring, some might say natural, partner in Russia. Oh no, Europe was compelled to lay back and provide a service for Washington's geopolitical desires.

When you think about the Cold War, that period of some 45 years living under the awful fear of annihilation, saw the Americans lodge their nuclear weapons in various European countries; and they are still there. It saw thousands of American troops occupy Germany; and they are still there. It saw America professing protection of the poor European damsel-in-distress allegedly from a drooling Soviet "evil empire"; and so it still goes on.

Some Europeans saw through the charade of course. German Chancellors like Willy Brandt and Gerhard Schroeder, who tried to normalise relations with Moscow, were thwarted by American (and British) mischief-making. Then there were the NATO Gladio covert terror operations that committed false flag atrocities against European citizens, which were duly misattributed to the Soviet Union. There is no reason to believe that such covert ops have been terminated, as in the current Ukrainian turmoil, as a means of keeping the Europeans frightened and disposed to "trusting" the Americans for "protection". Keeping the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down.

Today, some 25 years after the official end of the Cold War, nothing much has changed. America still vows ardently to "protect" poor little Europe from a slavering Slavic monster who, we are told, is just waiting for a chance to pounce and have its evil way with Washington's European "ally".

What protection? Europe has been endangered for decades by American base urges for its own gratification of global hegemony - at Europe's expense.

Can Europe come to its senses and rethink this tawdry relationship? Can Europe dare to assert it own rights independently from its domineering American master?

What has Europe ever really got from the overbearing, demanding American, who ultimately is deeply insecure about his own abilities and his so-overblown pretensions.

This whole Ukraine crisis has been an American ploy from start to finish, aimed at driving an artificial animosity between Europe and Russia. It should be so obvious that Russian energy supply to Europe is a major prize coveted by the Americans. Regime change with covert mass murder thanks to the ever-efficient CIA in that department, followed by massive propaganda false narratives and false flags, a war of terror on ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, more propaganda distorting Russia, followed by economic sanctions, tensions and now vows by America to arm up the neo-Nazi regime it installed in Kiev. How deluded can Europe be not to see the glaring truth of it all?

Meanwhile, who is paying the price for this swaggering American megalomania? Why it is the Europeans of course, and as always. War on Europe's doorstep and sanctions busting the EU economy apart are the price for being in bed with this American megalomaniac.

The callous, careless American attitude is there to see on occasion when his ego gets the better of this tongue. Remember the US State Department official who on the eve of the regime-change operation in Kiev last February divulged the real attitude of Washington towards the Europeans. In a secret phone call that was leaked, the US official and ambassador to Ukraine said of the imminent coup: "Fuck the EU!"

Then we had US Vice President Joe Biden months later bragging about the fact that the effete Europeans had to be browbeaten into adopting American-led sanctions against Russia. "President Obama had to bounce the Europeans into adopting the sanctions," crowed Biden to an American public audience, as if he was referring to a sexual conquest.

So let's clear this phoney, priggish rhetoric. America doesn't give a fig for Europe. It never has done and never will. The stocking of American nuclear weapons in Europe and the threat of nuclear war with Russia has always been a bogeyman for the Americans to terrorise the European continent with, so that America can stretch out its arrogant boots.

However, something significant seems to be at last stirring over the Ukraine crisis. There is a palpable sense that Europe is slowly realising that it is being used-and-abused by the Americans for their own selfish strategic interests. Germany in particular seems to be coming to its senses. Chancellor Angela Merkel along with French President Francois Hollande decided to engage directly with Russian
President Vladimir Putin to try to broker a peace deal over the Ukraine conflict. The Americans were pointedly shown the door and kept out of the proceedings. And lo and behold, a tentative peace deal was brokered - because the Americans were shunned.

Martin Shulz, the German president of the European Parliament, recently told a German television forum - to rapturous applause - that the Americans should "back off" and let Europeans sort out the
conflict in their midst. There is thus more than a sense that the Germans and other Europeans are belatedly realising that they have been lied to and systematically cheated on by the Americans in the latter's habitual attempt to criminalise Russia over the Ukraine conflict. Russia is not the problem, Russia is not the threat to security. It is the Americans and their promiscuous regime-change libido in every corner of the world, with Ukraine being the latest victim, that is the whole damn problem.

Merkel's defiant rebuttal of American plans to arm the Kiev regime to the teeth and drag Europe into a war with Russia is a first step of Europe showing Washington the door. It's long overdue. But maybe, just maybe, Europe is finally tiring of its role of being the plaything-mistress for the macho Americans. Don't hold your breath, all the same.

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