Beth Klein Boulder – talks DUP, the Tory’s Puppetmaster

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Beth Klein Boulder talks politics – May and Foster
After failing to win a majority, the Conservative Party forged an alliance with the right wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to form a government. Government needs to have an overall majority of 326 MPs to get legislation past the House of Commons. Let’s meet the DUP which is akin to the Westborough Baptist Church as a political party, now, with power.

The DUP was founded in 1971 by radical Ian Paisley during the Troubles.  It is a Unionist party, a group that favors northern Ireland’s union with the UK and is primarily Protestant.  An Irish nationalist party favors a united Ireland and is typically Catholic.

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Beth Klein Boulder talks politics Ian Paisley
Northern Ireland was in the midst of an ethnic-nationalist conflict known as the Troubles, which began in 1969 and would last for the next thirty years. The conflict began amid a campaign to end discrimination against the Catholic/Irish nationalist minority by the Protestant/unionist government and police force. This protest campaign was opposed, often violently, by unionists who viewed it as an Irish republican front. Paisley had led the unionist opposition to the civil rights movement. The DUP were more hardline or loyalist than the UUP and its founding arguably stemmed from insecurities of the Ulster Protestant working class.

The DUP opposed the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. The Agreement was an attempt to resolve the conflict by setting up a new assembly and government for Northern Ireland in which unionists and Irish nationalists would share power. The Agreement also proposed the creation of a Council of Ireland, which would facilitate co-operation between the governments of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The DUP organized general strikes which led to the downfall of these shared-power peace initiatives.

During 1981, the DUP opposed the talks between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey. That year, Paisley and other DUP members attempted to create a Protestant loyalist volunteer militia—called the (Ulster) Third Force—which would work alongside the police and army to fight the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

In November 1986, a rally was held in which DUP politicians Paisley, Robinson and Ivan Foster announced the formation of the Ulster Resistance Movement (URM). This was a loyalist paramilitary group whose purpose was to “take direct action as and when required” to bring down the Agreement and defeat republicanism. Recruitment rallies were held in towns across Northern Ireland and thousands were said to have joined. The following year, the URM helped smuggle a large shipment of weapons into Northern Ireland, which were shared out between the URM, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA). Most, but not all, of the weaponry was seized by police in 1988. In 1989, URM members attempted to trade Shorts’ missile blueprints for weapons from the apartheid South African regime. Following these revelations, the DUP said that it had cut its links with the URM in 1987.

The DUP opposed the other peace initiatives including the Good Friday Agreement referendum, in which the Agreement was approved by 71.1% of the electorate.

In 2016, seeds of alliances with the Conservatives/Tories were planted. The 2017 election bore fruit of power for the DUP. May will have to make concessions to the DUP in order to maintain her government.

Arlene Foster, is the current leader of the DUP. Foster was raised in the town of Dernawilt and is a member of the Protestant Church of Ireland. Her experience with political violence began early in her life when her father was the victim of a failed assassination attempt — shot at their home. As a teenager, Foster was on a school bus that was bombed by the IRA, the vehicle targeted because its driver was a soldier in the Ulster Defence Regiment. Foster is a degreed lawyer.

The DUP formerly campaigned against the legalisation of homosexual acts in Northern Ireland through the “Save Ulster from Sodomy” campaign,and in recent years has vetoed the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland. In December, the DUP’s Trevor Clarke was criticised by Sir Elton John after the politician admitted he did not know heterosexual people could contract HIV until a charity explained the facts to him.

DUP East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson, a devout climate change denier, was once Northern Ireland’s environment minister. Mervyn Storey, the party’s former education spokesman, once called for creationism – the belief that human life did not evolve over millions of years but was created by God – to be taught alongside evolution in science classes. He has also objected to an exhibition on evolution in the Ulster Museum and signs at the Giant’s Causeway in his North Antrim constituency.

The DUP has called for a debate in the House of Commons over the death penalty. The party maintains that it is “pro-life” and unanimously opposed a bill by Labour MP Diane Johnson to protect women in England and Wales from criminal prosecution if they ended a pregnancy using pills bought online. The DUP opposes funding for international family planning programs.

The party backs “soft Brexit” and a soft border in Ireland.

Creativity and Boredom.

alma-deutscher

Alma Deutsche gets her musical ideas when she’s about to go to sleep or when she’s waking up, but primarily “by skipping with this skipping rope,” she says.  “I don’t actually skip but I wave it round like this and I tell stories in my mind. Very often a melody just springs into my head. And then I run back and write it down in my notebook,” she says.  “You see it has to be just this kind of skipping rope, with shining tassels and sparkles. Other ropes don’t work at all.”

The child prodigy, who could play the piano at two, the violin at three and could read music before she could read words, swings the rope to help her think up the melodies that have already made her a world-famous composer and performer, and a favourite of musical giants such as Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Barenboim.

“I used to use sticks but I didn’t want to wave them in someone’s eye,” Alma says. “I’d get into a terrible panic if I couldn’t find the right kind of stick, if it wasn’t ‘swing-ey’ enough.

A skipping rope was much nicer to swing around — I got more melodies and thought of more stories with it. I think it’s to do with the swinging movement and being outside, running around with the wind in my hair.”

Alma does not have a smart phone, a computer, or a TV.  She reads 100 or more books a year, and she composed an opera at age 11 that opens in Vienna today.

On December 29 the full-length version of Cinderella, Alma’s first opera — composed when she was 10 — will have its world premiere in Vienna under the patronage of Zubin Mehta. It follows a chamber version performed by a string quintet without scenery in Israel in July. “This will be at a completely different level, with a full orchestra, costumes and sung in German,” she explains. At the moment she doesn’t speak German and is desperate to learn it, “so I can understand my own opera”.

Her opera protagonist is a Cinderella who is smart and who wrote a song.  The Prince heard and loved the song and searches the kingdom for the girl who can correctly finish the musical phrase he sings.

She considers electronic media a waste of time and that TV ruins the mind.  She also feels that it would interrupt her access to the music in her brain.

Alma is home-schooled. Her father has said that Alma had hoped she would learn to read on her first day at the local school and how frustrated she became. They quickly realised the limitations an ordinary school would impose on her immense gifts, but not just her abilities to play instruments, to sing and to compose.

“I learn here in one hour what would take five hours in school,” she says. She spends each morning practising violin or piano, listening to music or working on her compositions. She writes in notebooks or uses a Sibelius music software programme because it’s faster.

She paints, does ballet or goes to gym classes with other home-schooled children in the afternoons, leaving plenty of time to play, skip and twirl with her rope in the garden — the Deutschers have sensibly invested in bulk supplies of sparkly skipping ropes from Amazon.

Please enjoy her music for a few minutes.

Recently, James Taylor spoke about his need for “empty time.”

Every time I sit down and play, there’s a possibility that a chord change or a chord progression will become a song.

You get in a cage somewhere without any distractions. One of the things I found this time is that I actually need a week of defended empty time before lyrics really start to come through.

t used to be that I could find a place near my home, set up all my notebooks and recorders and my guitar, and work away from three hours before lunch and two hours after lunch, maybe take a long walk. Now I find I actually have to drive a couple of hours away from home and set up camp for a whole week, and after a couple of days, things start to flow.

 

Taylor says that a great deal gets done in “empty time.”

It turns the idea that smart people never get bored on its head.    Maybe we all need some boredom.