First Bob, now Tony Bliar’s (other) mate Bono (Bloody Bono) has got the gong. Well, kinda. According to the band’s website, “As Bono is Irish he is not entitled to the ‘Sir’ title, as a British national would be”. As Bono is a twat, he’s accepted it anyway… After all, the Brits may not have done a whole lot for Ireland, but Britain’s done a lot for U2.
Honorary knighthood for U2’s Bono
December 23, 2006
U2 frontman Bono is being awarded an honorary knighthood by the Queen, the British Embassy in Dublin has said.
The singer, whose real name is Paul Hewson, has been given the honour for “his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work,” it said.
Prime Minister Tony Blair congratulated him, telling the singer in a letter: “You have tirelessly used your voice to speak up for Africa.”
The 46-year-old will receive the honour [sic] in Dublin early in the new year.
British ambassador David Reddaway will conduct the ceremony…
To come to understand my outrage at U2 front man Bono accepting [a] knighthood from the queen of England I had to look at what I know. England calls herself the United Kingdom these days. It sounds better than the English Empire. Empire got a bad rap in the Star Wars trilogy. England has killed a great many people in her history, she has looted a great many cultures and destroyed many belief systems that she deemed to be inferior to her own. The United States likes to tout itself foremost as a place of religious freedom in reaction to English repression, but in reality England miscalculated her own sons when it came to the Americas. England had a wonderful formula to maintain control over inferior people but her own citizens, when left without proper supervision, realized they could just steal the land and franchises awarded by the King. To do this they had to spin their project to reflect something noble like freedom of religion and [no] taxation without representation. To sell the grunts and commoners who were doing the work anyway our Founding Fathers crafted two of the most clever pieces of advertising copy every wrought, the Preamble to the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And it worked to gain the support of the masses, the same ones who do the soldering now.
This shows the relationship that the United States has with the United Kingdom. Somehow the word United makes everything OK. They issue from the same blood and philosophy. If you are having a problem with this look at the English occupation of India (300 years) and how the US took out the Native Americans; the same techniques, same, same.
England’s belief that it had rights over the world came from the belief that the English King was chosen by God. Yes, look at the Royal Family and ponder the greatness of God and consider this belief system. The English King decided that the Holy Bible was not to his liking so he had it translated to his designs and to this day the Protestant world openly buys that the King James Version of the Holy Bible is a superior product because it omits the Greek works, and restructures facts.
So this has only peripheral implications on my boil concerning the short-sightedness of Bono, who has a last name. One of those names that is dropped in conversation by those who think they are in his inner circle, much like those who pretend to know Hulk Hogan’s real name is Terry something or other.
Bono is arguably the highest profile Irishman in the world, he has made his mark on the rock scene and in the earliest moments of the Classic Rock radio format U2 was a classic artist although no radio in North America played much of his music before 1989. The FOX in Norfolk Va. was programmed by Bob Chrysler and U2 was one of his power rotators in 1989. Greg Mull brought classic rock station Thunder on line in the Tampa Market in the mid-90s and again U2 was right there with the Beatles etc. Bono has a lot of presence, like Sting, except that Sting is from Australia and therefore not a high profile Irishman.
Historically the Irish have had their teeth kicked in by the English at every turn. The English sold Irish bachelors into slavery in Barbados and Jamaica and other Islands in the Caribe. England allowed a million Irish men, women and children to starve whilst all the food on the island was exported — the official spin on what has become known as the Great Shame, is that it was caused by a potato famine. True, there is a blight that takes the potatoes from time to time but potatoes were the only crop lost — the potato crop was the only food the English lords allowed the Irish to have… oh yeah, in their own country the Irish could not own property. The English owned the land and were happy to send every bachelor they could off the island so that they could have unfettered control of the place.
What the English overlooked when they culled two million people from the countryside through death or deportation, was that the Irish are a tight people. Folk who have little Irish blood claim the mystical beauty of their heritage. The Irish who came to North America and the United States in particular were refused work and held down until they realized that they could put themselves in positions of government. Soon the Irish controlled things like New York City and Boston and Chicago! Irish Americans sent their kids to good Catholic schools and university and insisted on reverence to no one but God. The United States was custom made for the Irish. And the Irish remembered the ugly crimes committed against their kind, the racist acts of ethnic cleansing and responded like good Americans do, they contributed to a foundation that might make the wrong right. After all they were now living in a country that once looked at England as an evil empire of colonial carnage.
In spite of the success of Irish-Americans and the establishment of the Irish Republic there is still the ache that comes from knowing that your Grand Fathers and Uncles and Cousins have been starved, tortured and murdered by the English. The English were successful in making the push for unification of the Northern Counties a matter of religion. I know there is a scholar about to load me up with volumes of tripe on how the Catholics acted out of turn. Just like the Palestinians act out of turn in their occupied country… Once upon a time all the Irish in the North were Irish; not now. The hope for Home Rule was hinged on the disarming of the Irish Republican Army; they have surrendered their weapons, still no deal. This reminds me of the conditions the US threw at the Native American Nations during westward expansion.
The Bush administration has been able to get that spineless stooge Tony Blair to make any sort of dissidence a crime against the war on terror. Tony was Bill Clinton’s boy and now George W’s… He could go for a trifecta except that he is getting out of office. This rape of political expression kills even peaceful means to an end to English rule in the North. A shouting protest will result in being put on countless lists and your image and life statistics shared with every nation on earth.
This has been a long trip to this point, by accepting this hollow knighthood from a criminal government Bono is honoring the English Establishment. His biggest hit, Bloody Sunday, once honored the deaths of 14 innocent Irish at the hands of elite English soldiers in 1972. Bono’s hypocrisy in this is hysterical. Tony Blair is right beside him feeding him the lie that there will be money for AIDS control and education in Africa. Piss! Bono is a sell-out. He could have righteously rejected this meaningless ovation and stood for his countrymen and those who gave their lives so that he could grow up in a free Ireland.
Those Killed on Bloody Sunday:
John (Jackie) Duddy (17 years)
Patrick Joseph Doherty (31 years)
Bernard McGuigan (41 years)
Hugh Pious Gilmore (17 years)
Kevin McElhinney (17 years)
Michael G. Kelly (17 years)
John Pius Young (17 years)
William Noel Nash (19 years)
Michael M. McDaid (20 years)
James Joseph Wray (22 years)
Gerald Donaghy (17 years)
Gerald (James) McKinney (34 years)
William A. McKinney (27 years)
John Johnston (59 years)
The official coroner for the City of Derry/Londonderry, retired British army Major Hubert O’Neill, issued the above statement on August 21, 1973; at the completion of the inquest into the people killed. There has never been a conviction.
Wow. That’s a long comment!
Briefly, in response: I’m somewhat familiar with the history of British imperialism in Ireland, and agree that the state’s impositions have resulted in untold carnage (including the so-called ‘Great Potato Famine’) for these unfortunate subjects of the Crown. Indeed, a number of my own ancestors were exiled from Ireland for precisely these reasons.
However, I think that reducing this issue to one based on nationality (“blood”) is mistaken. In other words, while the ideology and practice of ‘the nation’ — especially in terms of its role in state-formation — is crucial to understanding history — especially Anglo-Irish relations — to put it crudely, there’s nothing inherently ‘English’ in oppression, any more than there’s something inherently ‘Irish’ in resisting it. Thus if some “Folk who have little Irish blood claim the mystical beauty of [this] heritage”, and do so on the basis of their finding inspiration in tales of Irish rebellion and resistance, good luck to them. But I reject any philosophy of history based on such premisses. For example: the Irish exiles who arrived in Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries found themselves pitted against the indigenous population and took part in their (attempted) genocide.
Such are the ‘ironies’ of history.
The story of the English, like the story of any other people, is a complex one. The outward projection of power that became known as the British Empire was necessarily based on a previous victory over an internal enemy — an unruly multitude of peasants and workers: the ‘English’ masses. Further, this ‘victory’ is not a singular historical event, but one which takes place over and over and over again: in contemporary terms, it means the reproduction of everyday life under capitalism.
See, for example, Fredy Perlman (1969):
On the British occupation of India and the genocide of Native Americans: no, I disagree.
Unlike North America / the continental United States etc., the British exercised a form of dominion based on commerce and military conquest, and did not seek the extermination of the Indian peoples. Rather — and this was the key to its success — the English strategy was based on divide-and-rule. It actively sought the collaboration of ruling powers in the many states and territories that compose contemporary India / Pakistan / Bangladesh, and the sum total of its colonies never exceeded a few hundred thousand people, ruling over many hundreds of millions of natives, some of whom were inducted into the British Army (and which played a key role in controlling the rest of the population). The British Raj was also able to take advantage of a society that was already riven by caste, and to cement these class divisions in the interest of its own imperialist ambitions.
In North America, the formation of the United States, on the other hand, was based on the near-total extermination of the indigenous populations, whether through direct acts of mass murder, or indirectly through disease, starvation or, more simply, dispossession of land.
Same for Australia.
A few more points:
Sting is English, not Australian.
The story of the Irish in the US is explored in Noel Ignatiev’s “controversial” (oo-er!) *How the Irish Became White* (Routledge, 1995).
“In the first half of the 19th century, some three million Irish emigrated to America, trading a ruling elite of Anglo-Irish Anglicans for one of WASPs. The Irish immigrants were (self-evidently) not Anglo-Saxon; most were not Protestant; and, as far as many of the nativists were concerned, they weren’t white, either. Just how, in the years surrounding the Civil War, the Irish evolved from an oppressed, unwelcome social class to become part of a white racial class is the focus of Harvard lecturer Ignatiev’s well-researched, intriguing although haphazardly structured book. By mid-century, Irish voting solidarity gave them political power, a power augmented by the brute force of groups descended from the Molly Maguires. With help, the Irish pushed blacks out of the lower-class jobs and neighborhoods they had originally shared. And though many Irish had been oppressed by the Penal Laws, they opposed abolition — even when Daniel O’Connell, “the Liberator,” threatened that Irish-Americans who countenanced slavery would be recognized “as Irishmen no longer.” The book’s structure lacks cohesion: chapters zigzag chronologically and geographically, and Ignatiev’s writing is thick with redundancies and overlong digressions. But for the careful reader, he offers much to think about and an important perspective on the American history of race and class.”
You can read an interview with Ignatiev here:
Point is, what you regard as a success — the establishment of the Irish as a political power within the US — may actually be regarded as a failure on other counts.
And yeah, Bono’s a multi-millionaire, tax-cheating, annoying, hypocritical, Sir Dick.
If I was a friend of Bono’s, then I would imagine his response would read like this…
Most people in the modern world are aware of the previous 40,000 years of historical ‘cockups’… When will progressive people be congratulated for standing in the firing line of Neanderthals. You see, I’ll explain this really simply. If we con[s]ider the ‘African American Revolution’… Remember? Who was shot? Ah, coming back to you? A man lost his life defending “change”… Humans are dumb! We are forced to swallow ‘history’ as an excuse for continued ridiculous behaviour, and then we w[h]inge when we don’t ‘get anywhere’… GO BONO! You see, ‘oh slow ones’, he doesn’t care what you think, because he is standing there accepting an award for stepping on square heads and believe it or not, there are people who are progressive and there are those who can’t. My suggestion to you is, try to project yourself forward, and you WILL only rec[ei]ve Greatness… Merry Xmas twit.
slackbastard presents A Public Safety Announcement:
Currently projecting myself forward
No greatness achieved yet but the night is young