SINCE JUST BEFORE the recent Labour Party Conference there has been a sudden feeling that the Government of Harold Wilson might, after all, retain power at the next British general election. The feeling was enhanced by a splendidly characteristic knockabout performance from the Prime Minister at the Conference itself, but it was fundamentally euphoric in character. The government has based its economic strategy on achieving a balance of payments surplus for so long that, when a balance appeared, it went rather to the head.
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN has just had the most troubled year of its existence. Occupations, demonstrations, illegal meetings, an openly dissident student body with tacit support from sections of the staff have shaken an administration that hitherto was singular for its strength if not for its efficiency.
EVERYBODY in the North awaited the Hunt Report during the uneasy lull between the two spates of killings in the last three months. The fate of the B Specials would determine which faction had gained from the tragic events of August. Furthermore the Civil Rights Association knew that whatever about their constitutional victories, which would only marginally affect the mass of Catholics, there would be no chance of keeping peace in Catholic areas so long as they lived in fear of the B Specials.
THE SPORT OF KINGS is a McCormick family tradition. The late R. J. ("Dick ") McCormick was a wellknown and long-established Irish trainer, whose own father, Mark, was regarded in his day as being one of the most brilliant huntsmen in the country. Dick McCormick learned his training art during a twenty-year spell with the legendary "Atty " Persse at Stockbridge and, later, with Steve Donoghue at Epsom. The latter of racing's all-time greats-rode the winners of six English and four Irish Derbys.
IT IS A MARK of the irrelevance of much of the modern Irish Church that whenever a crisis in the North erupts the Churches cease to be of paramount significance. In between crises the leaders of the Churches receive a great deal of publicity for their efforts to patch up wounds created by their ancestors. Such was certainly true when representatives of the four main Churches visited the BQgside and Fountain Street in Derry. Their reception was friendly on all sides and liberal newspapers hailed the visit as one of enormous significance.
AFTER THE FALL of the Jewish state of Palestine in the year 70, up to the fateful year of 1948 only two Jewish states were ever formed. One was in the Yemen in the sixth century and the other was on the Lower Volga and lasted for three centuries until 1000. During the Middle Ages Jews had formed tight, closely knit communities. But in the nineteenth century the movement towards cultural assimilation became much greater. Then in 1879 a tragic event took place. Bismarck for completely pragmatic reasons found it necessary to launch a campaign of anti-Semitism.
THE CIVIL SERVANT has traditionally been a butt for humorists. It was easy to satirise the seemingly obsessive caution and avoidance of personal responsibility which the popular mind attributed to the civil servant, whose prime skills were represented as being a perverse pleasure in preventing members of the public from getting satisfaction and manipulation of files to keep the buck moving-together, of course, with an insatiable thirst for tea.
THE CHARACTER of the opposition has changed very much since the General Election. Prior to then the Nationalists controlled the predominantly Catholic rural areas and in Belfast Labour was the main opposition party. But now the position is very much different.
THE ANSWER to Paisley's rise in public favour lies, of course, to a large extent in his personality. But while every fascist movement similar to Paisleyism needs the dynamism and attraction of an intelligent demagogue, its source lies fund~entally in the political forces which give rise to the movement which the demagogue dominates.
"THE PROTESTANT PEOPLE of Ulster are seeing the wonderful works of God this very hour-Jesus stands among us-he has risen us up to fight the forces of Romanism and all its allies. "
"Our cause is righteous and is washed in the Blood of the Lamb." Shouts of " Glory" interspersed with low murmurs of" Praise the Lord."