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The Colour Code
Hints for a career in racist bigotry; a doper’s great escape; and why Sinn Fein’s nationalism makes for unpleasant bed-sharing.
Eamonn McCann, 29 Sep 2003
Some of you may be considering a career in racist bigotry but aren’t sure how to go about it. So, a few handy hints.
1. Never express hatred for people of other races without prefixing your remarks with a denunciation of “politically correct rubbish.” (The formulation, “It may not be politically correct, but...” is especially recommended.) It is a good idea, too, simultaneously to tilt your chin just so, in a manner suggestive of personal rectitude and courageous defiance of ignorant popular opinion.
2. Indicate, perhaps with a weary sigh, that you are aware that you will be attacked “for being a hysterical racist” for uttering these unexceptional sentiments but feel it necessary in the interests of truth to speak out nonetheless.
3. Include in each diatribe against people of other races at least one strong hint that the media, in order to “placate the dogma of anti-racism”, are not telling the truth about immigration.
4. Always implicitly associate yourself with the Plain People of Ireland and depict all who disagree with you as elitists out to bamboozle the masses: never miss an opportunity to mention that the Irish media are rigidly controlled by “liberal divinities”.
5. Assume a mien of sad acceptance as you predict that the country will soon be en route to hell in a handcart if official policy continues to be shaped by “mumblers of pious non-racist juju.” The word “juju” might usefully be given a certain subtle emphasis, making clear that you are aware some will interpret its use as racist but even clearer that undeterred truth-tellers like yourself are past bothering with such oppressive restrictions on individual freedom.
6. If anyone in the company affects outrage at “juju”, demonstrate your doughty determination not to be intimidated by “the prevailing orthodoxy in Irish life today” by telling him/her to feck off and “pound your anti-racism tom-toms” somewhere else.
7. Most importantly of all, insist that easy-oozy attitudes “which might make liberals feel very virtuous” are in fact damaging to the interests of the very groups the liberals implausibly claim to be concerned about. If, for example, you are suggesting that any African with AIDS who arrives in Ireland should be shipped back pronto to wherever they’ve come from so they might die out of sight of Irish eyes and be prevented from infecting indigenous white Irish people with alien disease, get it in early and explicit that you urge this course so as “to protect... those Africans who have lawfully settled here, and who no more want to see the disease spreading through their communities than do the rest of us.”
But enough. You’ll have gotten my drift. Those who want learn more about racist bigotry as a career option should consult Mr. Kevin Myers’ handy compendium of camouflage phrases published under the guise of “An Irishman’s Diary” in the Irish Times of September 12.
Amazing the things you find yourself doing to dodge the Dunphy-Kenny crossfire. Even more amazing the things you thereby find out. Friday night a couple of weeks back, I’m riffling through the bulletin of the South Atlantic Remote Territories Media Association (SARTMA) when I chance on confirmation of a story I’d confidently assumed was mere myth. I refer not to the front-page splash (the tea party at Plantation House at which Cllr Kathy Hopkins served up sausage rolls and Earl Grey tea to St. Helena’s finest, including His Excellency Governor Hollamby, prior to a presentation of the poems of Mr. John Betjeman) but to an adjacent account of the escape from the local prison of 34-year-old Willem Merk. The story was pegged on Willem’s reappearance in Amsterdam.
Willem had been three years into a 15-year sentence for possession of $20 million worth of hash. The notoriously anti-marijuana St. Helena courts had refused to accept the dope was for personal use. Willem escaped from the jail on the 47-square mile chunk of granite jutting out of the South Atlantic by using soap to make copies of keys which guards left out when they went to the toilet. He says he picked up the idea from “an old Steve McQueen movie” – the Oscar-nominated Papillion, written by Hollywood 10 hero Dalton Trumbo, directed by Franklin J.Schaffner, co-starring Dustin Hoffman and with a marvellous original score by Jerry Goldsmith, if I’m not very much mistaken.
Leaving a trussed-up pillow and an audio tape of himself snoring in his cell, Willem set sail on a driftwood-and-styrofoam boat he’d paid an islander whom he’d met on an exercise break $150 to make for him. The SARTMA bulletin continues with Willem’s own account in a Dutch newspaper: “I had only a page torn out of an atlas for a map, 15 cans of beans, a can opener and a fishing rod. I want to deny reports that I also had a change of underpants. I floated for nine weeks without a compass or a radio, not knowing where I was going. One day I woke up with a jolt. The boat had hit Brazil, 2,000 miles away. I met a man who took me to a telephone and I called the Dutch embassy. They organised my return home to Holland. I am now a free man and looking forward to being a free stoned man.”