Aletho News


The Brits Have Their War Dead, We Have Bobby Sands

By Aidan O’Brien | CounterPunch | November 18, 2016

Dublin – Last Sunday Britain remembered yet again its soldiers which were “killed in past and present” wars. This annual British event – Remembrance Sunday – is their annual “fuck you” to the world. It basically is a defence of the British Empire and the willing executioners it sent out to the four corners of the world. It’s insensitivity towards the peoples Britain conquered and condemned is so breathtaking that it begs a bloody response.

And when Britain’s role in the 21st century Arab slaughter is taken into account – the sight of Britain’s military shamelessly looking for respect is nothing less than the sabotage of morality. It makes a mockery of international solidarity and international equality. It is not a nation remembering but a nation defecating – defecating on the universal rights of men and women everywhere. It is a pure crime parading as pure innocence.

Britain’s ruling class was profoundly embarrassed by Brexit. Ever since the vote to “leave” Europe – this establishment has been at pains to express its love for Europe and the globe. Yet every year this social class recalls with pride the British rape of the world. Indeed this ruling class has steadfastly refused to apologise for its historical and contemporary acts – choosing instead to institutionalise its rapaciousness. Brexit may be an embarrassment for this class – but not war. On the contrary – war is policy – a perennial policy.

Just how long has war been British policy? Since it’s unification in 1707 Britain has been at war more or less nonstop somewhere in the world. From the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-13) to the destruction of Libya and Syria (2011-16) the British have been in the business of killing foreigners. In a light hearted book All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Around To (2013) the writer Stuart Laycock concludes that Britain has invaded 90% of the world’s countries. That is: out of nearly 200 countries – only 22 have escaped British terror. However being light hearted about this will not stop the killing machine.

In contrast the writer Richard Gott in his book Britain’s Empire (2011) looks very closely at this trail of blood and guts. For him it is not a joke for Brits to laugh at. But is a problem to deal with. And overcome. He looks for the victims of British terror and their resistance to British rule so as to gain a liberating view of the past and therefore of the present. Once the revolt and resistance is included and embraced – an alternative to Empire becomes possible. By seeing Britain clearly and by rising up against it – Britain’s victims gave and give birth to a better world. This is one of the great stories – if not the greatest story – of the modern world. One that we cling to today in the face of a resurgent Empire.

In a revealing remark Gott claims that this global struggle against British violence can be summed up in one story – that of Ireland.

“No colony in their Empire gave the British more trouble than the island of Ireland. No subject people proved more rebellious than the Irish. From misty start to unending finish, Irish revolt against colonial rule has been the leitmotif that runs through the entire history of Empire, causing problems in Ireland, in England itself, and in the most distant corners of the British globe.”

And if this is so – we contend that this Gaelic/Global rebellion against Britain is embodied in the life of one Irishman: Bobby Sands. If Ireland is the cutting edge of freedom from Britain everywhere – then Bobby Sands is the diamond that cuts deeply into the rock of British rule everywhere.

Born in Belfast in 1954 and dead 27 years later – Sands lit up the world from inside a British dungeon. He died because he refused to be broken by Britain. He died because he had more integrity and courage than Britain’s entire military history. He died because he rejected the criminalisation of resistance – resistance to Empire. He died with nine other Irish men on hunger strike. Sands was not only the leader of the striking prisoners – he was the leader at that moment of the entire global fight against injustice. From inside a prison cell he touched the four corners of the world.

Not only was Bobby Sands a leader in the political revolution – he was also a leader in the cultural revolution. His lust for freedom was not just a material thing. It was also a mental thought. One he put into words: words that fit perfectly into the art of Che and Mao. In his Writings from Prison (1997) he sings to us as he deconstructs the British gulag. Without needing to break down the walls that imprisoned him – he walked free. And in that cultural sense (indeed in every sense) he was freer than and greater than any of the mercenaries and sepoys that have died for Britain. Fidel Castro said Bobby Sands was more valuable than Jesus Christ. And he was right.

We remember the working class hero from Belfast – the IRA volunteer – who will always be an example for the world. In Bobby’s words:

“I was a skeleton compared to what I used to be but it didn’t matter. Nothing really mattered except remaining unbroken. I rolled over once again, the cold biting at me. They have nothing in their entire imperial arsenal to break the spirit of one single Republican political prisoner-of-war who refuses to be broken, I thought, and that was very true. They can not or never will break our spirit. I rolled over again freezing and the snow came in the window on top of my blankets.

“Tiocfaidh ár lá,” I said to myself. “Tiocfaidh ár lá.”

“Tiocfaidh ár lá” means in English “Our day will come”.

Aidan O’Brien is a hospital worker in Dublin, Ireland.

November 18, 2016 - Posted by | Book Review, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | ,


  1. When Bobby Sands was on is hunger strike in prison, I recall Margaret Thatcher staging a ‘stunt’ for the World’s media, by showing a roast dinner being delivered to his prison cell, and, in her snotty pompous voice mocking the futility of his hunger strike.
    The British people(well lots of them anyway, probably not the ‘Upper Class’) sang “Ding Dong the Witch is dead” when she died.
    Britain’s, and America’s ruling class couldn’t give a tinkers cuss about their people, especially their military, who are routinely used for Imperial war, and tossed into a pit when they die, for ‘Freedom and Democracy’…..


    Comment by Brian Harry, Australia | November 18, 2016 | Reply

  2. Sir Jimmy Savile and Margaret Thatcher’s Pedo-Love Affair
    Throughout his long public career Jimmy Savile curried favor with Britain’s most powerful elite, from prime ministers to the royal family. As a social climbing Mensa member,[1] he mastered the psychopathic game of ingratiation, invited to spend 11 consecutive New Year’s holidays in a row with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the British PM residence Chequers,[2] just three miles from one of his favorite day or late night pedo-hunting grounds, the Stoke-Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire where he raised near half (£20)[3] of his total £45 million for charity[4] in exchange for being able to freely sexually abuse over five dozen victims and screw dead corpses at Britain’s National Spinal Injury Center alone.[5]

    One year the Chequers court jester showed up dressed head to toe in Christmas decorations with a large silver bell around his neck. Lady Thatcher turned to her rather uptight foreign secretary and proclaimed:

    Jimmy can ring my bell any time.[6]

    Word has it that Savile went through every room at the prime minister’s country estate that year writing on notepads his phone number with instruction that in case of emergency, the PM should ring his bell. Apparently such were the never a dull moment frivolities exchanged between these two intimates. Sir Jimmy fondly reminisced about his Christmases past with his Dame Maggie in an Esquire interview:

    I knew the real woman and the real woman was something else. The times I spent up there [Chequers] – Denis, me and her, shoes off in front of the fire.[7]

    Early on in her ménage-e’ tau, I mean 3-term premiership, a week after his last luncheon date with the Iron Lady in February 1981, a handwritten letter from Jimmy to Maggie says it all. His love note’s nauseating lip-lock was unabashedly dripping off the page:

    I waited a week before writing to thank you for my lunch invitation because I had such a superb time I didn’t want to be too effusive. My girl patients pretended to be madly jealous and wanted to know what you wore and what you ate. All the paralysed lads called me ‘Sir James’ all week. They all love you. Me too!! Jimmy Savile OBE xxx O.B.E.[8]

    “Sir James” and Lady T would have to wait six more tries and almost a decade later before his knighthood was granted as Savile’s creepy, uncouth nature had her honor committee staff protectively turning down her first five requests, deferring until she was safely out of office. This rather revealing love note was released in late December 2012 after being sealed for 30 years.

    Savile closed his gushing confession sharing that all his patients love her, punctuated with “me too” next to his signature and attached OBE credential, the queen bestowed honor finagled back in 1972 through fellow pedophile-murderer the then Prime Minister Edward Heath.[9] Jimmy Savile’s cloying strategy always seemed to work like a charm on Thatcher, but less so on her staff. Per his request, Thatcher donated a half million pounds ($800,000 USD) on behalf of British taxpayers to his Stoke-Mandeville Hospital’s new spinal unit. Her “generous” contribution to his cause, her determination to doggedly nominate him a half dozen times for knighthood and her re-inviting him back to Chequers on countless more occasions solidified their mutual love affair, no doubt motivated by politics than sex. But it shows much weight and power he had over her.

    The bulk of the Savile-Thatcher correspondence was withheld, rejecting Freedom of Information Act requests, fueling speculation over what dirty deeds must have transpired between them to cause it to be branded off limits to the public three decades later.[10] But Jimmy and Maggie’s crime cabal “fixed it” for the public not to know, having to wait until 2022 before another heavily redacted bundle gets released to the lowly plebeians.

    Sir Jimmy’s love for Dame Margaret (yep, queenie anointed her with an Order of Merit badge upon Lady Thatcher’s resignation in December 1990[11]) never went unrequited. As leader of the opposition party from 1975-1979, Maggie made a guest appearance on his Jim’ll Fix It show broadcast on New Year’s Day 1977 with Savile promising on the air to fix her election two years prior[12] to her becoming Britain’s first female prime minister (1979 to 1990) in exchange for him being her favorite holiday guest the next near dozen years.[13] Her loving tribute to him was expressed on a Savile episode of This Is Your Life:

    So many Great Britons have had a touch of eccentricity about them and Jimmy is truly a Great Briton. Miner, wrestler, dance hall manager, disc jockey, hospital porter, fundraiser, performer of good works, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and Knight of the Realm, Jimmy, I and millions more salute you. God bless and thank you.[14]

    Thatcher selectively omitted his three biggest pastime passions that for years remained an open secret – serial necrophiliac, serial child rapist and most likely serial killer.

    [1] Paul Revoir, “BBC has to Apologise as Guest from Mensa Labels People with an IQ of 60 ‘Carrots’ on live Breakfast Show,” Daily Mail, December 21, 2012,
    [2] Cole Moreton, “Jimmy Savile, the Big Fixer,” The Telegraph, October 30, 2012,
    [3] Peter Jukes, “Jimmy Savile Sex Abuse Scandal Taints Entire Era in Britain,” Daily Beast, October 31, 2012,
    [4] Paul Jeeves, “Ow’s about that! Sir Jimmy Savile Raised £45m for Charity and left another £5m in his Will,” Express, December 16, 2011,
    [5] “Jimmy Savile: Report into Stoke Mandeville Hospital Abuse says Sex Abuse Victims included Spinal Injury Patients, Staff and Visitors,” ABC, February 27, 2015,
    [6] Jane Fryer, “Prince Charles, Saucy French Maids, and the Aphrodisiac Powers of a nice Chicken Sarnie. A very Bizarre Audience with the Eccentric Jimmy Savile,” Daily Mail, November 13, 2010,
    [7] Alison Boshoff, “Jim the Fixer: Is Jimmy Savile just a Fantasist … or is the Truth even Stranger than Fiction?” Daily Mail, May 9, 2008,—truth-stranger-fiction.html.
    [8] Cyril Dixon and Charlotte Meredith, “Jimmy Savile’s ‘Love’ for Margaret Thatcher Revealed in Disturbing new Letters,” Express, December 28, 2012,
    [9] Nick Dorman and Don Hale,
    [10] Cyril Dixon and Charlotte Meredith,
    [11] Gilbert A. Lewthwaite,” Queen Honors Thatcher with Order of Merit,” The Baltimore Sun, December 8, 1990,
    [12] “Jimmy Savile and Margaret Thatcher,” Jim’ll Fix It episode, BBC, aired January 1, 1977, YouTube video, posted October 16, 2012, 01:56,
    [13] “Margaret Thatcher Speeches, Interviews and Other Statements,” Margaret Thatcher Foundation,,
    [14] “Margaret Thatcher Quotes,” IMDb,


    Comment by Pip | June 22, 2021 | Reply

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