“At least it’s not cold. I remember one day in the seventies it was blowing a blizzard and the buses where off because of a bomb on Donegall Pass…” said a lovely old lady of about eighty to a wee schoolgirl with fearful wide eyes. It broke my fucking heart. We were stuck on the train between Balmoral and Finaghy. The young conductor came down the carriage and explained to everyone what he knew. We were safe of course but not everyone on the train knew that. They had never lived it before. “Oh here we bloody go” I thought. I then got miffed because I’d forgot my headphones and couldn’t block out the psychoanalysis of the troubles from the normal populace of Northern Ireland.
After about an hour the train has permission to head back to Belfast. I thought “Oh Shit. This is going to cause mayhem.” And indeed that is their intention. These fucking idiots who continue to believe they represent anyone in this country. Their goal is to cause anger, revulsion hatred which festers in ones gut and leads to retaliation. I felt all those things yesterday and indeed as i wake and do my breathing exercises and meditation I just can’t quite shake the feeling of an AK47 and a brick wall. However my anger is now more directed at the reason for why they do what they do. I know how they want to make me feel but I know. This is my point. I know what they’re about but the wee dickheads throwing petrol bombs and stones on our interfaces haven’t got the experience of people like myself who grew up with the atrocities of Northern Ireland. Five minutes later we’re dropped off at Balmoral. Now there’s a massive queue at the bus stop and the six or seven local Grammer and High Schools are kicking out for the day. A very impatient thirty something young women, she was quite nice actually, jumped the queue from a five or six behind me and three people in front of me. My wee sense of indignation couldn’t be controlled. “Excuse me? Is there a reason why you feel you need to be rude and push in in front of all these other people who are waiting patiently to get on the bus?” I really felt for her as she was mortified and when a few people started clapping it made her worse. I let her stand in front of me but stood my ground in my opinion. The girl kept saying “i’m sorry.” “You may be sorry and i accept that but it does not excuse bad manners” I said. Nobody was gong anywhere anyway because as the police vehicles whizzed by, sirens blaring, the traffic was already backed up behind us the whole way back into Belfast. I had two bags of shopping and a back pack full of groceries and my laptop. My phone then alerted me to the fact that i was meant to be attending my Postgraduate Welcome Reception at the School Of Law at Queens University. I eventually got home around 04.30pm. I left Belfast Gt Victoria Street station at 02.38 and what is normally a fifteen minute journey took the best part of two and a half hours.
What do politicians do in this country?
On Monday and Tuesday I spent both mornings searching for work and filling in forms for benefits that I’ve been told i wont get anymore as I’m now a full time student. My problem is I only do four hours of lectures 4-6 on a Monday and Tuesday afternoon and because a Master’s is classed as “full-time” education I am not entitled to benefits. I have to get a full time job to live. So, if I get a full time job I cannot do full time education because I’m working “full-time.” This is not just about me this for the whole Higher Education wannabes. Only yesterday David Cameron said he will take benefits off people who don’t commit to education. “Well Mr Cameron SIR, I’m the most committed man I know and you have taken my benefits from me!” There is only one set of people here who need committed and they’re sitting in their wee ivory towers and have absolutely no connection with this so called United Kingdom of ours. There is nothing united about it and it survives on stagnation, status quo, areas of grey, lack of transparency and for want of a better word sheer and utter “balix.” I cannot claim Jobseekers because I’m not actively seeking for work because I’m in full time education. I’ve never looked harder in my life and now have access to graduate work and vacancies on the Queens website. Trouble is most of them are in the UK or Europe, America and China. Why must I leave this country again in order to survive? Personally, I have done everything the system has asked me to to do re: my Rehabilitation but when it comes down to it. There is no such thing. It’s all lost in grey and hope is destroyed because of Balix. A person said to me yesterday “you sound so negative Michael. What’s wrong? It’s not like you.” This was ten minutes after i stopped myself from walking in front of a bus outside the City Hall. Hope is destroyed every day. Thoughts of recidivism and death are my constant companion. Desistance is a “full-time” job. I wonder if I’ll get paid for that? My worry, my angst has always been that Me, Michael Irwin has the tools, the experience and the knowledge of psychological processes in order to survive. What about the poor sods who don’t?
What do politicians do in this country?
Oh that does feel better but it’s not a cure. I must go now because I have to go and get £20 from my Dad in order to by two bags of coal that should keep me going until next week provided it doesn’t get too cold.
This is an update at 01.10pm. The trains are still canceled between Belfast & Lisburn. My post arrived with my official certificate from the OU stating BA (Hons) Criminology & Psychology (Open) and a check for £44 from the Northern Ireland Prison Service who refused to pay for my transport from Magilligan Prison to Coleraine Station for a hospital appointment over a year ago. I had to challenge them with Judicial Review before i got my money back. It’s only £44 but worth a million in “I told you I was right.”
Again, who are the politicians employing in this country?