The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Saturday, October 25, 2008

today they said

Manuel Barosso, President of the European Commission: "The financial crisis is centred on the United States but the ripple effects are being felt everywhere."

James Healy, President of The Heelers Diaries: "This tendency to blame America for everything is caused by a predilection towards vilification on the part of those whose knee jerk response to any international crisis is to instantly excoriate the United States for a series of spuriously alleged faults without every recognising the very great good, the inestimable benefits and enlightenment which flow to any country where the USA plays a part in the life of people, culture, society or nation. The financial crisis is taking place because of the improprieties, corruptions and massively amoral business models utilised in banks, financial insititutions, stock exchanges and governments worldwide. Some of these corruptions are similar and related to each other, some quite distinct. It is absolutely untrue to say that a credit crunch in the United States is causing the collapse or imminent collapse of banks and corporations in Europe and the world. Such reasoning leaves the governments and peoples of Europe and the world without any responsibility for their own malign incompetence and puerile profligacy. The cause of large company failures anywhere in the world is partly the excessive pay and remuneration which for decades has been slavishly paid over to board members and senior staff in all of these now threatened banks and stock exchange companies. The great men have received annual pay packets in the millions of dollars. Pay for what? Simply to set up the entire world banking system for imminent collapse? They have been paid millions for doing nothing. No one should be paid ten lifetimes' wages for a year's work. Or non work as in most of these cases. Here is the news. The Americans are responsible only for the corruption of their own banks and corporations. American governmental policy cannot be held responsible for the Bank Of Ireland paying its chief executive four million Euros last year. The Americans cannot be held responsible for the Irish government giving forty percent pay rises across the public sector, to nurses, bus drivers, teachers and policemen, who all got together to demand what was effectively money for nothing. We have brought this thing on ourselves. And that's just Ireland. Nor can the Americans be in any way held responsible for the profligate behaviour of British and European and Asian banks. You know what folks? The problem with the banks is not just mortgage lending. Oh no. The banks would like to phrase it that way so that at the very least a modicum of blame for their incompetence could be put on the general public who took out the mortgages. No, no, no. The problem with the banks is their aforementioned amoral business model when it comes to credit cards and lending generally. The banks have designed the credit card and lending system to entrap people into debt with a repayment schedule that is unlikely to be met. The banks make the preponderance of their credit card profits from punitive charges imposed to punish their customers for getting into the very trouble the banks expected them to get into by the very nature of the system the banks themselves had designed. Let me be a little clearer. The banks make most of their profits on credit cards, through the fines they impose when people can't afford to pay their debts on time. It's a shakedown. In the space of a decade, banks all over the world have created an adversarial relationship with their customers. As soon as we escape them we never want to go back. The old relationship of trust is gone. The problem when you treat people like this is that what goes around comes around. When it's the banks who are in financial difficulty, none of us want to know them. Okay. Why oh why, I hear you cry, have the share prices of stock exchange quoted companies everywhere on earth gone south? Could we at least blame America for that? Let me this way put it. Shares are worth nothing because board members of stock exchange quoted companies have been giving themselves millions of free shares as bonuses for sitting in their offices doing nothing. They have destroyed the integrity of the share as a unit of value. We pay for em. The board members get em free. It's over. I'm sorry gentle friends. I think the stock exchange system is going to crash completely. My advice to the citizens is to turn to God. He's real and he'll help us. The danger is that the atheistic corruption of big businessmen may yet push our free societies into a debilitating socialism. Or worse. Into communist dictatorship. One thing is sure. The jig is up for the stock exchange con job. It would be a tragedy beyond words if the banks and big business corporations were able to use our concerns about the dangers of socialism and communism, to persuade us to accept that we should pay continue to divvy up billions of dollars to keep them in the life, jobs, and pay grades, to which they've become so accustomed. Ay yi yi. At this very moment, share prices are being propped up artificially by the intervenionist bail outs announced by governments everywhere. I gotta say it. I think the governments are throwing good money after bad by underwriting banks and financial institutions that have already lost limitless sums of money speculating on the rise and fall of these non entities. Unfortunately for the citizenry, share values are also being artificially propped up by the fact that banks, financial institutions and stock brokers were the ones governments went to for advice on investing pension funds. This is the tragedy. The stock brokers advising the governments had a vested interest in artificially inflating the stock exchange. Across the western world pensions have been invested in stock exchange companies by governments who certainly have no right to blame America for their own idiocy. The pension investments cannot be cashed because to do so would cause an instant calamitous evaporation of the stock markets. A collapse that would make what we've seen to date seem like a romp in the park. Share values would simply cease to exist. Currencies might go with them. Yes. I think it will happen anyway. Inevitably. As long as the corrupt incompetents remain in charge of the big companies, this is what's in store for us. No matter how many times we bail them out. It's whats in store. Just maybe not today. And so to France. I'll be brief. Only the French themselves are responsible for the last twenty years of clownish socialism in France. French conservatives are even more incompentently socialist than French socialists. Their economy is a basket case. And Arabia? Fifty years of free money for oil and the lot of them still as poor as church mice. They're doing something wrong. Maybe if they recognised their women as human beings and stopped inflicting psychotic Islamic fascism on the world, maybe they'd make a few friends and have healthier economies. I would certainly counsel everyone in the free world to buy less Arab oil. You don't give a man money to buy bullets to shoot you. Or to buy suicide vests. Or to buy atomic weapons. Or to buy whatever is the weapon of mass destruction de jour among Al Qaeda operatives these days. That's what we're doing with the Arabs and Iran. Let them keep their oil. Start by putting ten Euro less of gas than usual in your car. Then make it twenty. Every time OPEC announces a production cut in order to drive up the price, take it out on them by announcing your own purchasing cut. Punish em. Use the car less. Walk somewhere instead. Ah the world is in a state of chassis. Iceland? Iceland's economy has tanked because of Iceland's abortion culture. That's right. Abortion culture. Iceland got in on the abortion routine before any other country, legalising the murder of unborn children eighty years ago, half a century before anyone else. I'm telling you Iceland has aborted its economy along with its citizenry. People are wealth. Africa? The Africans aren't poor because they've too many people. They're poor because they've too many one party States ruled by absolute nut jobs. Take a bow Mugabe. The Africans have no economy at all because they have been enslaved for fifty years to a satanic mix of Arab Islamic Nazism and Soviet style dictatorship. None of this was caused by America. Look. Harsh medicine will be necessary for all of us. If you must know I think the only hope for the free world is a return to Christian values and the empowerment of the ordinary citizen, whether as a business person, as a property owner or as a vocationalist. The solution to recession is pay cuts and retranching, not downsizing. It's interesting that the companies who favour downsizing as a solution to the recession are the ones who've being paying their chief executives the most dysfunctionally bloated wages. Downsizing should end. After a certain number of years a worker should have tenure over his job. It should not be possible to fire him. This isn't socialism or communism. This is civilisation. The Johnston Press should never be able to fire someone like me again. Yeah. It's all personal folks. The whole world crisis. The big corporations are collapsing because of the way they treat individuals. Those immortal banks and financial insititutions are all going bust because of what they've done to you and me. Once more with feeling. It's not America's fault. Manuel Barosso is a clype. Here endith the lesson."

after hours

Late night debate at the Chateau de Healy with the inimitable Uncle Scutch.
We two creatures are discussing the existence of almighty God.
Paddy Pup at my feet is ingesting a handkerchief.
Uncle Scutch has been going easy on me, pulling his punches in the discussion.
A thought strikes him.
Somewhat reluctantly he muses aloud: "Um, I don't really want to say this."
I tell him: "It's okay. You can say anything. Don't spare me."
He says: "Jesus is just a man. He may be the greatest man who ever lived. But in reality he's just a man. A great teacher. A great philosopher. If there's such a thing as prophets, he may even be a great prophet. But ultimately just a man. Nothing more."
I murmur: "If you think he may be the greatest man who ever lived, why don't you accept what he said about himself?"
There is a silence.
It lasts long moments.

from our sports desk

A night of strange and perturbed dreams.
My dreams featured the outgoing Chief Executive of the Johnston Press.
He is an outgoing Chief Executive not in the sense that he has a pleasant optimistic cheerful nature.
He is an outgoing Chief Executive in the sense that he will no longer be Chief Executive in January.
A new man is taking up the job.
Another one bites the dust, as we do say in the trade.
The Johnston Press has announced that the change of personnel at the top level has been arranged for some time.
Personally I wouldn't believe the Lord's prayer from them.
But then I'm not an objective judge.
Ironic though.
All the great Hire-ums and Fire-ums shuffling off into the sunset...
The editor and Managing Director of the Leinster Leader who were in situ when I was fired, departed westward ho themselves within a few weeks of me.
I wonder why they left.
I wonder how they're doing now.
What was it the Christians used to say?
The standard that you use shall be the standard you are measured by.
Most intriguing.
Now let me tell you about the dream.
In my dream the outgoing Chief Executive of the Johnston Press was sitting on the steps of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London.
He was dressed in rags like a Victorian flower girl.
He was singing, plaintively enough, a song from the 1960's film musical Oliver.
His version ran:
"Who will buy,
My wonderful shares,
Who will buy,
My fine company,
Who will buy,
My so precious wares,
Oh someone please buy,
Something from me."
There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

The Johnston Press owns the Leinster Leader from which I was fired last year three weeks before Christmas.
The share price of the Johnston Press on the eve of my firing was close to the £4 level.
The share price of the Johnston Press on Friday evening 24 October 2008, was 22 pence.
I wonder whether in firing me, those sublime geniuses at the Johnston Press could possibly have made a mistake.

Friday, October 24, 2008

ascent to truth

Morning coffee with the Perfect Fit in Dublin.
She's a Spanishy.
My favourite friend.
Not my best friend.
Just my favourite.
She is an active girl and had spent the last few days hiking in the west of Ireland.
"We climbed your holy mountain. What's it called again?"
"I presume you mean Croagh Patrick. Although it's not really mine. I mean I don't actually own that particular mountain."
"Croagh Patrick. Yes, that's the one."
"What was it like?"
"Oh you're going to love this James."
"What do you mean?"
"The story I'm about to tell you. You're always trying to convert me to Christianity. Listen to this. No just listen. Don't comment until I've finished."
I beckoned her to go on.
With unmistakeably Spanish enthusiasm she recounted the following.
"Me and Julio really wanted to climb Croak Patrick. It was a lovely day. We got to the mountain in the afternoon and we began hiking up it. We were about a quarter of the way up and we looked back. We saw a storm coming in over the countryside. It was amazing. You could see this storm taking shape and moving across the fields. It stretched for miles. We had to decide whether to keep going or to turn back. It was that bad. We weren't sure what we'd do if the storm caught us on the mountain. We decided to keep climbing. Every now and then we'd look back. The storm was getting closer. It looked huge. Really black and ominous. We scrambled on up the mountain. It gets steeper near the top. Now we could see the storm spread out all around the mountain below us. It was so black. It was moving faster. It was like it was chasing us. It completely covered the countryside. We tried to put it out of our minds. The climb is difficult enough because the stones on the ground are very sharp. No, we didn't do it in bare feet the way some of the Irish do. But this is what happened. We got to the top and turned around. James, there was no sign of the storm. We could see for miles. The most beautiful scenery stretching away to the horizon. It looked like heaven with the sun shining on it."
When she said these words I felt an odd intuition of delight.
My handsome preraphaelite jaw dropped.
For a moment words failed me.
"Go on," she prodded. "What do you think that was?"
"I'll tell you what it was," sez I. "You were allowed to see things as they really are. You were allowed to see every demon in hell on your tail. And you were allowed to see the victory."
Spanishy clapped her hands.
"I knew you'd say it was a miracle," she grinned.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

dances with heretics

(extracts from the Heelers emails)

To: Father Billy Clark, c/o TheFourthHealing website.
Date: 13th Oct 2008.

Hey there Father Billy.
Are you Catholic?
Some of the 25 stigmatics you have listed on your website are highly dubious.
It should be noted that even if some cases of stigmata are genuinely from God, many have clearly been faked.
Fakery obviously explains some of the cases you mention, though not all.
Julia Kim in Korea is a fake.
Christine Gallagher in Ireland certainly acts like a fake.
In a rather careless manner you mix cases like Ms Kim and Ms Gallagher on your website with cases like that of Padre Pio.
In my opinion Padre Pio may be a genuine stigmatic.
You would of course be aware that if you or Tiffany Snow or anyone else associated with your website, have faked stigmatic markings for profit or any other motive, you are risking your immortal souls by doing so.
Jesus can include no lie in his kingdom.
Be blessed.
James Healy

To: James Healy
From: Billy Clark
Date: 20th Oct 2008

Hi James.
Yes I am Catholic. I was raised Roman Catholic and Ordained in the Old Holy Catholic Church.
All our information is shared so that others may become closer with God and hear His Holy Voice better.
Blessed Tiffany has been given the Holy Stigmata. (Holy as in from God as it will always come with accompanying gifts - for her: healing and medical intuition and words of knowledge.)
Feel free to look at the websites and read the information, specifically The Divine Decrees, so that you may see the fruits of the blessings.
May God unveil the truth of things to you,
Father Billy Clark+

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


poem for a scottish accent

weep ye creatures of the moon
upon the lives we lead
the lovin' is all done
winter takes the seed
and as the fates command
ye walk but do not breathe

how can I ask for tears
from what has never known
the deep and dark despairs
the mordant love of woman
ye shun the shawl of human sights
and live but when the moon is bright

a sombre stillness sheathes the air
grasses waver silver strewn
and i a traveller from afar
care not for the friends i knew
oh weep for me ye creatures
i cannae weep for you

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A BIT IRISH (by Medbh Gillard)

Heelers showing little French Celine around Dublin accompanied by her boyfriend Yves Montand...
(Drawn from life by the artist.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

barracking uncle theobald

The mighty Heelers was having tea with his improbably named Uncle Theobald.
"What I can't understand," said the Uncle, "is how any Americans who call themselves Catholic could vote for Barack Obama. The man is in favour of abortion. How could any Catholic support that? I just can't understand it."
I drew a short breath.
I sensed a teachable moment.
"Well Uncle I'm going to have to ask for a judges ruling on this one," I told him. "You claim not to understand American Catholics supporting Barack because he's pro abortion. But you yourself have supported Tony O'Reilly's newspapers for the past thirty years. You never fail to buy the Irish Independent and the Sunday Independent. And these are the most virulently anti Catholic publications in the country. Between them they have coarsened and vitiated the culture and faith of Ireland. They have made open warfare on our church. They have shamelessly promoted condom culture, contraceptive pill culture, abortion culture, pleasure culture and sex culture.And every step of the way they did so with your support."
The Uncle did not answer.


A British army officer and an Irish army officer, citing some vague acquaintanceship with me, demanded I have lunch with them.
I was disinclined to meet them.
Meet them I did.
Over tiffin our discussion turned to the next threat to world peace.
The Irish Times had just printed an article suggesting that the collapse of the Soviet Union meant history had come to an end.
I was inclined to disagree.
The idea of history coming to an end first surfaced nearly a century ago in a book called 1066 And All That.
Writing shortly after World War One, the book's authors concluded that with the end of that conflict, history came to a stop.
Boy were they wrong.
I had a hunch that all such present day predictions would prove equally facile.
Nor did I think it likely that the beast, who is called by some satan, and by others beelzebub, having stalked mankind from the campfire to the skyscraper, would now desist from his ancient and infernal attempts to lay low the human race.
Even now I was sure satan would already be seeking new ways to set men and nations at each other's throats.
Wind and rain squalled against the window in the restaurant where we dined.
I said: "I think the next threat will be the Arabs. There are terrorist groups operating in every single Arab country. There are Arab terrorist groups in Lebanon and Gaza. Iran and Syria are sponsoring terror movements beyond their own borders wherever they can. Even comparatively stable Arab countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, even those have their own quite ferocious terror movements. Sometimes Arab terror movements can be seen working against their own governments, sometimes with them. No Arab or Muslim country has allowed its citizens the benefits of democracy. There is no tradition of civilised discourse within the Muslim world. The only widespread expression of dissent in these countries is coming from terrorist groups. And the only capacity Arabs and Muslims have for getting on with each other is by making war with everyone else. Even in countries without a Muslim majority such as Thailand and the Philippines, there are Muslim terror movements. Muslim terror has surfaced in Russia in the Chechnya region. It's surfaced in communist China in the Uygur region. Then there's Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Kashmir, all of them have localised Islamic terror groups. Across north Africa every Arab and Muslim country has a terrorist movement. These movements are alreader projecting themselves outward into non Muslim African nations. In south east Asia, you will find Malaysia and Indonesia have similar movements. All that has to happen is for the members of these groups to pick up their mobile phones and start talking to each other. Then overnight we will be facing a fully functioning worldwide Muslim terror army, armed, trained, equipped and ready to commit mass murder."
The British army officer gazed out the window.
What I was talking about seemed too much like scare mongering to be of interest.
The Irish army officer harrumphed.
"Harrumph," he said. "The Arabs will never get it together."
This happened in December 2000.
We were less than a year away from Nine Eleven.
No one was listening.
I didn't manage to save a single life.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

a pleasant interlude

Sitting in the kitchen with a coffee.
Paddy Pup at my feet.
I'm feeling mellow.
Enter Doctor Barn stage left.
"You look relaxed," sez the Doc.
"I am," sez I.
"Why so?" enquireth he.
"I've stopped worrying about this McCain bet," explaineth me.
"Yeah. I'm not sweating it anymore. If Barack wins, it's because it's meant to be. He's not so bad. He's got a greatness of his own actually. He's made a lot of normally cynical people believe in politics again. And he's cool under fire and an absolutely superb communicator. He can lead. He's ready. If it happens it will be for the best. He will fulfill the role of President with honour."
Doctor Barn took a step backwards.
The brother thinks Barack Obama will win but he's not used to this sort of talk from me.
"Are you on something?" he muttered.
"Painkillers for the toothache," sez I.
"How many did you take?"
I grinned blissfully.
"I took three."

muslim outreach with uncle heelers

I tried to make a few Muslim friends.
It seemed to me that this was something positive I could do with the world teetering on the brink of all out war.
It wasn't easy for me.
I consider Arab culture and its unifying Islamic ideology to be an imminent threat to the freedom of the world.
There is no group of people I less want to know.
But perhaps that very attitude gave me even more of a duty to come out of my comfort zone to try and make a difference.
Spread a little kindness to take away the blindness, and all that.
Maybe by reaching out in friendship I could contribute just a tiny amount to the cause of peace.
If each one of us made a friend from our enemies camp, why then it might be harder for any of us to willingly contemplate destroying the other, or the other's country, or as in the case with the great heroes of Jihad, the other's air hostesses and office workers.
So the thinking went.
Convoluted eh?
I'm only warming up.
A few years ago I met a Muslim lady whose cafe business was in trouble.
I made sure to eat there every day for a while.
We got talking.
I asked her was it possible for Christians and Muslims to be friends.
She said it was.
After several months of moderately blossoming friendship, she felt she knew me well enough to assert that the people of Kurdistan were not human.
The Kurds are mostly Muslim mind.
Only apparently not Muslim enough for some other Muslims.
Our friendship floundered on my trivial insistence at ascribing humanity to everyone who is a human being.
A while later I was ready to try again.
I made friends with a Muslim poet who was attending the Hopkins poetry festival.
He was labouring under the oppression of a very famous grandfather.
I felt sorry for him.
But hey, he didn't need anybody's pity.
His girlfriend was the best looking woman in the place.
I'd have converted to the peaceloving religion of Islam for her in a second.
No in half a second.
(That old gag. - Ed note)
Myself and Sheikh Ahmed corresponded for several years.
I had begun the friendship with a new version of my earlier question to the Islamic Kurd hating cafe lady.
The new version ran: "Is it possible for Christians and Muslims to be in dialogue?"
We dialogued for two years.
But unfortunately I was dialogueing under false pretences.
The Sheikh expressed himself honestly.
He outlined for me in lurid detail his every twisted infantile thought about evil Americans, democretinisation, and the zionist conspiracy.
I never once told him what I really thought of the peaceloving religion of Islam.
So it was indeed friendship under false pretences.
When the Iranians and Al Qaeda blatently bombed the Blue Mosque in Iraq to incite civil war in that country, the Sheikh insisted the Americans had done it.
Our friendship ended forthwith.
I made a gentle resolution that day that I would never again listen to anti American claptrap from Muslims or anybody else without plainly speaking my mind in replying to it.
There would be no more friendships under false pretences.
And I was O for 2 in the Muslim outreach stakes.

Today I went for coffee with Cecile O'Connor, an Irish school teacher of senior years.
She's a tough old bird
A lady of stern golden hearted mien.
She has been teaching for three decades.
She knows not fear.
She told me she has just welcomed two Arab children into her classroom. They are a brother and sister, nine and seven years old.
My interest was tweaked.
"Tell me more," quoth I.
Cecile sipped her cappuccino with a ruminative air.
"The other day I was teaching the class to say the Hail Mary," she told me. "The little Arab boy stood up and shouted: We don't pray like this. I said to him that he could show the class how he did pray. So he got out a prayer mat, went down on his knees, facing Mecca I suppose, and intoned some really quite beautiful prayers in Arabic."
She eyed me with a speculative school teacherly gaze.
"Alright James," she said. "I have to know. Do you think I handled the situation appropriately?"
I stared at her.
"No," I said bluntly. "No. Not at all. Do you understand the way Arabs raise their boy children? In his own household that nine year old boy has a higher status than his mother, his older and younger sisters, and any adult aunts who live with them. You have now taught this little boy whose parents smuggled themselves into our country, declared themselves citizens and rushed to avail of our free education system, you have now taught him that he outranks you. That he has a higher status than an adult school teacher in the Republic of Ireland. I've gotta tell you Cecile. From my limited experience. That's a very dangerous lesson to be teaching Arabs."

After I left Cecile, I wandered up O'Connell Street for a rendezvous with the Malteaser.
We met in the bright airy cafe above Easons.
I like it.
If any of the waitresses try to kill me, there'll be plenty of witnesses.
The Malteaser noticed I was preoccupied.
"What's wrong?" sez she.
I repeated the school teacher's anecdote.
The Malteaser shrugged.
"We're facing these problems in Malta too," sez she.
"How so?"
"We have a large Arab population."
"Since when?"
"Our Labour government in the 1980's was hand in glove with Gadaffi. The island filled up with Libyans. The tensions are unbelievable. You see James, the problem is not that Maltese people are racist. No really, that's not it. Don't laugh. We're genuinely not racist. The problem is that Arabs expect everyone to respect them. But they don't respect anybody else."
"So how many Arabs are living in Malta?" I asked her.
"About fifty thousand."
"And how many Maltese?"
"Four hundred thousand."
I took a swig of latte.
"You guys are finished," I said.

And much later.
Back at the chateau.
I switched on the computer to check, via the miracle of a Statistics Monitor, on the latest batch of visitors to The Heelers Diaries.
My old friends the Jihadi's of Dubai had dropped in again.
Exploring their limits probably.
They seemed to be particularly fascinated by my articles about Muslim headscarves.
Cultured fellows no doubt.
I hope they found something to keep them entertained.

sky me a river