Jude Collins

Friday, 29 April 2011

Two young men, two different lives

It’s funny – that’s funny-peculiar, not funny-ha-ha - the deal life serves up to different people.

Today in Westminster Abbey, a young man aged 29 who’s known nothing but privilege all his life will be married to a young woman who, while certainly not from the level of comfort of her husband, is very comfortably middle-class and will, from here on in, be as privileged as the man she’s married. Collectively, they’ll live lives where they may receive help in squeezing their toothpaste tube. Together they’ll be known among other things as the Baron and Baroness of Carrickfergus.

Six days from today will be the thirtieth anniversary of the death of another young man at the age of 27. This man was intimidated from his home at an early age, spent much of his adult life in prison and died after 66 days on hunger strike. At the time of his death he had been elected MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone. His life was short, full of danger and deprivation, and his death long-drawn-out and painful.

We might disagree over how much each young man earned by his actions what life gave him. There’d be less disagreement over which experienced/ will experience the more comfortable life. But history, I'm sure, will have no problem in deciding which life - that of Prince William or Bobby Sands – is the more deserving of respect.


  1. You are beyond parody.

  2. >But history, I'm sure, will have no problem in >deciding which life - that of Prince William or >Bobby Sands – is the more deserving of respect.

    Prince william by several country miles.

  3. I couldn't agree more Jude. The British royalty are a representation of all that is wrong with British society. Bobby Sands is a hero that Ireland can be proud of and will never forget.

  4. Kind of you to say it, Anon 1.
    Are you speaking on behalf of history, Anon 2?

  5. Great piece Jude

  6. Come now Jude, Prince William isn't the member of an organisation who has murdered countless people....er, on second thoughts

  7. God Bless you Bobby Sands. You are not only an Irish Hero. You are just a hero.

  8. Anonymous: Prince William is a member of a group of privileged people who bestow titles and honors on murderers. Murders committed in their name.
    Her Majesty's Armed Forces. Para1 to be exact.
    Bobby Sands gave the ultimate gift for his country, his life.
    That is much, much more than Prince William would ever give, or ever be asked to give.
    As a matter of fact the Royals give nothing, they are all takers.
    History is someone's perception of events.
    Winston Churchill put it well when he said, "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."

  9. In this post-nationalist age, history will come to regard Bobby Sands as a coprophiliac, anorexic weirdo. What did his death achieve other than to 'up the ante' pour further fuel on the flames? His legacy is not the peace process, but rather the actions of current dissident Republicans who view the world much as he did. SF and its leadership have done very well out of his death and those of others in terms of electoral success, by abandoning that which BS fought and died for. The conflict was never about civil rights for Catholics, but rather about a United Ireland, and no amount of mawkish platitudes and rewriting of history alters the fact that his death was a pointless act of nihilistic narcissism which ultimately achieved nothing.

  10. Anonymous: Since partition the political power-base of unionist parties was consolidated around majority rule - their majority and their rule.
    And since unionists seemed incapable of voluntarily dispensing political power on an equal and fair basis, Bobby Sands death was very significant, and did accomplish more than what you want to admit.
    But hey, life's great when reality is only an option.

  11. I thought the fight was against Britain, and not your fellow Irishmen and women, the Unionionists. SF rejected power sharing at Sunningdale in 1973, prefring the option of fighting their 'long' war. Some 25 years or so later, they accepted what was, in essence, Sunningdale Mark II. (The Paisleyites did the same).

    What exactly did Bobby Sands die for?

    Incidentally, anyone now attempting to do as he did would now be criminalised, only this time with the blessing of SF's leadership.

  12. Anonymous: Institutionalized sectarianism was not how fellow Irishmen ( your words) should treat each other. The illusion of inclusion was a unionist trick that didn't work.
    Here's a quote from a unionist on unionist identity:
    "We didn't really know who we were-our identity was formed from what we were not"
    So Anonymous, am I to assume from your comments that you consider yourself not British?

  13. We have 'institutionalised sectarianism' now. I'd imagine the actions of Sands, and those of his friends and admirers have greatly contributed to this state of affairs. It would be hard to think of a more divise figure than Sands. Personally, I'd say he died that others might kill. The fact that few Republicans are, at present, following his example,is something we should feel profoundly thankful for.

    Concerning your question, as I have a British passport, and was born in the United Kingdom to British parents, it would be pretty hard for me to think of myself as anything else.

  14. Anonymous: No you are wrong, there is no 'institutionalized sectarianism' now. That all ended when the unionist oligarchy ended.
    Being British means you are one of the following, English, Scottish or Welch. So I know you are not from Northern Ireland.
    However if you where born in N. Ireland then you really don't know what you are. The name Great Britain and Northern Ireland says it all.
    The only ones who have contributed to the state of affairs are the obtuse unionists and their British masters.
    One more thing the nefarious loyalists with the collusion of the British state contributed much more to the state of affairs than any republicans
    You seem to have selective amnesia, as I will remind you that the British state were protagonists in the conflict and not innocent onlookers.
    Don't bother to reply as this is my last word on this matter.

  15. Sinn Fein contributed greatly to partition when, following the 1918 election, they set up the first Dail. They knew that unionists wouldn't attend and frankly they weren't too worried. They then began an economic war against Belfast, the result of which was that the only uileann pipe maker in Belfast was put out of business. Hurray! Another step for freedom.