The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

St. Patrick's Day Message


Jimmy Sands • March 17, 2003

It certainly has been a hectic few weeks. It was a pleasant surprise to be asked to join the delegation for the recent talks to help salvage the Good Friday Agreement. I would like to be able to say it was a positive experience but sadly I have to report it was yet another episode demonstrating British intransigence. Gaining any concessions from them was like pulling teeth, the row over my per diem was particularly distressing, and their insistence that if I wanted to move out of the Europa I could (and I quote) "pay for it yourself" was demeaning. I prefer to draw a discreet veil over the episode, but in case the securocrats are leaking, I reiterate that I did not order those movies.

The talks proper were not much easier, but I'm pleased to say progress was made on which we can build when we resume. For example, coffee will be served during morning sessions, tea in the afternoons; and although one so-called nationalist party was prepared to agree to jaffa cakes, some of us are made of sterner stuff. Beyond that it would probably be unwise to comment, particularly on the disbandment speculation. Suffice it to say we may be interested in a bulk purchase of carriage clocks in the near future, and would ask interested parties to send quotes to the usual address.

If it's March, of course, it must be New York. To anyone who hasn't experienced St. Patrick's Day in the US I recommend it. The Ancient Order of Heterosexuals pull out all the stops for a celebration that is as Irish as the Saint himself. Much has been made of the fact that Gerry Adams and George Bush will not be shaking hands this year, but unfortunately as long as doubts remain about their commitment to peace, it would probably be inappropriate. There was some talk that Gerry would stay home in the circumstances, but he wouldn't miss it for the world. "Besides" as he said to me while dropping Livingstone off at the kennel, "where's the harm in leaving Brian in charge of things for a few days?"

Yours in struggle
Jimmy Sands
Grand Marshall (alternate) 2003








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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles

17 March 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Death of an IRA Volunteer
Anthony McIntyre


Sinn Fein @ The Bush Party
John Meehan


Not In Our Name, Bertie and Gerry

Brendan Young


Republicans' Big Risk
Paul Fitzsimmons


The Good Friday Agreement? What About the St. Patrick's Day War?
Eamonn McCann


St. Patrick's Day Message
Jimmy Sands

Only Another Eleven Palestinians
Margaret Quinn


13 March 2003

Anthony McIntyre

One For All & All For One
Paul Dunne


Brave New World, Indeed.

Tommy Gorman


Ireland: Direct Rule Continues
Paul Mallon




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