ANALYSIS: The causes of problems with causes

“Give generously for de cause,” said a  somewhat aggressive Irishman to me in a Kilburn pub 44 years ago.

My chum Gerard was playing in a Comeallye band that night: he’d had the good sense to warn me earlier that not contributing to the IRA bucket was a bad call. A dropped a Pound note into the offertory, and my reward was a withering look.

“You’re not one of us, sure that’s clear enough,” he muttered, moving on to the next victim. Inside my head were all manner of brave Robert Mitchum-style things to say in response. I restrained myself with remarkable ease.

You’re not one of us. It is, of course, the ultimate tribalist rebuff. And – by definition – a threat.

As it happens, I have supported the aims of the IRA since 1961. I just don’t support their methods. And over the years, I have refused to deny what’s obvious to anyone involved in Irish politics: robbing and maiming became a way of life for IRA officers. In the end, they became a feared mafia no better than the Kray gang. The means employed had so obfuscated the ends, they had literally lost touch with the objective. Indeed, it became almost de rigueur for the ends not to be achieved.

I didn’t take up blogging to join causes. I got into it as a retired writer and adman who – on being released from the MoU corporate bubble of privilege – quickly discovered that most financial advisers, banks, bond marketeers, private health providers, privatised service sectors, hitech combines, car manufacturers, pension concerns and the politicians in their pockets were taking the piss out of the ordinary citizen.

Worse still, it seemed to be the one syndrome that was genuinely global: it was rife in Washington, Whitehall, Westminster, Brussels, Moscow, Tokyo, Paris, Sydney and even Beijing.

But along the way, the more appalling symptoms of Everyone’s At It inevitably led me to champion the causes of the bullied and abused. It is, I think, instructive to look at that series of causes: there is a learning for us all in so doing.

The first thing I got seriously behind was the way in which Blairite Labour was busily putting up notices and making declarations about this and that, but not actually doing anything as such for the ordinary citizen. Everything, it seemed to me, was a stunt. Old Labour – and its heartland voters – were being conned.

Despite the bile reserved by Old Labour for use on New Labour inside the stockade, it was as nought compared to the venom spat in my direction when I dared to suggest that This Great Movement of Ours was even a gnat’s less than perfect.

You’re not one of us so butt out….I got the message loud and clear.

The next stop was institutional paedophilia in the justice and care home systems. It was all going rather well until I got close to some abusee case histories and discovered that a lot of the claims didn’t check out.

Having led a charmed life, the only sexual abuse I’ve ever suffered is the occasional complaint about failure to perform following over-indulgence in brewery output. This of course damned me forever in the eyes of the Beeeleeevers.

You’re not one of us  – so you obviously work for them, they concluded. I’d apparently been “mixing with the wrong sort of people”. I was “unsound”.

So when I told the Sickoseekers that the BBC had got the wrong McAlpine as their smoking gun, I was ignored.

The BBC is still paying for its brainless tribalism today.

Macro events moved on (the way they do) and the gun fired for the Greek austerity marathon.

I watched and commented – at first enthralled by the skill with which Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis got themselves elected – but then began to smell the odour of over-confidence. “We’re going to dismantle class privilege in Greece bit by bit” said Varoufakis; “Brussels will learn that Greeks cannot be bullied” Tsipras asserted.

I suggested that perhaps Syriza was underestimating the sociopathic illegality of its adversary’s methods.

You’re not one of us, I was abruptly told: you underestimate us. We Greeks are clever strategists. We will get them right where we want them. Then you will see.

I will confess that I was late in the day to the Waspi cause – an acronym that stands for Women Against State Pension Injustice.

My lateness was not unrelated to the fact that – while the Waspi Executive was stroking itself all over about how many members it had – genuine awareness of the Osborne/Duncan-Smith embezzlement of Waspi State pension monies was almost zero in the UK overall. Without knowing one victim personally, I would still not have a clue about what or who Waspi is today.

So I began to post and tweet about what a complete fiction the Government’s defence of this heinous mugging of 1950s-born women is.

“Who are you?” a rude tweet asked me accusingly 48 hours later, “You do not have official Waspi status. What do you know about the real issues here?”

Only gradually did it dawn on me that a neo-Stalinist core group of secretive Waspi “leaders” was running the show.

You’re not one of us I was told: “We’re managing perfectly well without you thank you very much”, a further tweet somewhat inaccurately opined, “mind your own business”.

The multivariate squabbling going on within Waspi has if anything worsened over the last three months. I devoted a fortnight to explaining how bad this looked in public on the internet. But the condescension and vitriol continues: and after receiving misdirected insults from a woman who can’t even spell her own avatar, I got this reasoned response from the grandiloquently self-titled @Everywoman last night:


You’re not one of us. The undiluted admiration of tribal incompetence continues.

At first sight, it’s hard to understand why this attitude to innocently proffered help exists with such consistency right across the social piece and even continents. But on mature reflection, I should’ve worked it out ages ago. I have, after all, banged on about it enough myself over the years.

Tribalism is something so ingrained in the human psyche, it cannot be eradicated from the overwhelming majority of us who are prisoners of it. Even if a tribe gets together in an emergency that must one day have an end, it is still a tribe. And every tribe has three ever-present features: it exists to protect itself, it is headed by those for whom control is the only raison d’etre of life, and for the rank and file of the tribe to feel truly safe, the leaders must be beyond reproach.

Any attack on the aims, track record and members of the tribe are treated as a physical attack on the tribe itself. And it is this above all that enables the Super-chiefs – the self-styled national élite – to divide and conquer.

A genuine community is a series of tribes who cooperate with each other because they have several core aims in common. A community at war with itself is one where the divisions between the tribes have been exploited by those who seek ultimate power.

The tribes fall for it every time, and the Super-Chiefs always “win”…in that they demand and get total control over an increasingly anarchic situation. This anarchy results, however, in a disaster in which none of the original aims are realised. Literally, Götterdammerung.

Right now, the US, British and EU Establishments are exploiting divisions as never before. Like I said, I should have worked it out ages ago: there are many ways to improve the lot of the World: but in the current environment, actively supporting causes isn’t one of them.

Of course, I wish all those I tried to help well, and treasure the friendships I made along the way. But it is cancerous ideology that needs to be eradicated, not its symptoms. In adopting tribal causes, I haven’t helped them. And they certainly haven’t helped me.


18 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: The causes of problems with causes

  1. Your Irish experience wssn t by any chance on a Saturday night at The Cock Tavern
    in Kilburn was it — before it became chi-chi…..

    ” Man Behind the Wire ” ! ” Only Our Rivers Run Free”!! ” The Town I Loved So Well” Et al.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ever consider that the BBC deliberately chose the “wrong” McAlpine? Likewise high profile numbnuts who tweeted it and should have known better. Convenient smokescreen for all the high profile paedos, who at the time were probably feeling a tad uncomfortable with the way the media spotlight was moving their way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to be off topic but is anyone else getting problems ‘Server not found’ when login on to RT. I seem to be getting this more and more.


  4. Do we really need further evidence that the fairer sex are totally out of their depth in the big wide world the moment they step outside the domestic front door? Take a look at the world today – is it a better place with decorative cleavaged beings strutting their egos ? No. Over and out. LOL.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was with three mates in a Dublin pub in the mid 80’s and having a great time, as were all the locals. Music playing from the local band, Guinness flowing freely and everyone, including us having a good chat and laugh.

    Suddenly we realised, that although the music was still playing, everyone else was singing along to it while we (Brits) were still having a laugh. Suddenly it dawned on us that this was a rather special song and that it was the Irish national anthem. Obviously this was all before the Good Friday Agreement so our brashness suddenly reverted to fear at being kidnapped and being held hostage until our families paid for our freedom!

    Fortunately this never happened however we did make a rather hasty exit and kept a look out for would be kidnappers.
    The night became even more memorable when we heard a pony and trap approaching through the darkness with a hugely bare breasted young lady at the reins. She obviously saw our delight at the sight and waved as she then departed on her clipperty clopperty horse into the distance.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. @ Gandalph ,can’t agree ,think it was sloppy ,lazy journalism. In the Transcript of the Waterhouse Inquiry one of the plaintiffs was asked if the abuser was alive or dead. He replied “dead ” which made it unequivocal as to which cousin he was referring to.
    JW agreed , The Pale was overreaching then and is a problem still.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tribalism is very dangerous! I actually don’t know Corbyn’s actual position on NATO,but this tribe as manifest itself the way John as pointed out! & if WW1 proves one thing is that we should never be signed up to treaties that bind you in! NATO was in its concept designed that way,& if Erdogan had say been assassinated would the same call have come that befell our grandfathers and great grandfathers,Everything should be judged on its merits and justification,we are back to pre WW1 ways of your with us or your against us madness! NATO may have apart to play but being a binding fighting mechanism isn’t it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gosh I’m so sorry to hear this. You were the finest champion, especially for those who are really suffering from all this – the alone, the ill, the worn out, the penniless – not all are. I can’t understand how they couldn’t see that and turned down your invaluable support. I’ll miss your words, your clever articles full of facts I certainly wouldn’t have known like the secret civil servant pension grab that we are all now on the hook for to the tune of billions – that was dynamite – why were you the only one talking about it? I just wish they could have seen that the support of a man, especially one that this situation didn’t directly affect in any way, was worth its weight in gold. Thank you for all you did, John, I’ll miss you on this one. Please don’t go.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The trouble is the WASPI 3 have never come out and said what they want . Plenty of words exchanged but none with any substance or hint of an action plan. Very good at saying women need help now so does one presume they want the Reduced Pension for Life ? They need to make their aim clear.


  10. liz727
    I’m not going anywhere. I’m just not going to argue for a change of strategy any more….and I’m not getting actively involved until the civil war(s) are over.
    For them to play silly games with other people’s lives like this is, if anything, even worse than the pension heist: the Government at least has the excuse of being ideologically insane. Some Waspis add arrogance to their to ignorance.


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