IRA reconnoitre Trafford Centre

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Sian Massey

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Mar 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/7/00
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This morning I had coffee with a group of other mums in Hale (a suburb
of Manchester, U.K.) One of them recounted the following story.

A director of her husband's firm's wife's friend was in McDonald's in
the Trafford Centre (large new shopping mall in Manchester). A man with
an Irish accent behind her in the queue rather threateningly asked her
for a pound coin . She complied, to get rid of him. He got his food,
and afterwards said, "You did me a good turn, so I'll do you one. Don't
come here during March." She went to the police, who showed her a book
of photos of known IRA operatives. On the second page was the man she'd
seen in McDonald's.

Another mum then said she'd heard the same story, only it happened to
her friend's auntie's daughter's friend, and the man had been in front
of her in the queue, and short of change to pay for his meal, and she
had helpfully made up the shortfall.

This sounded very like an urban legend to me, but not one I had heard of
before.
1) Happened to a FOAF
2) Details mutating
3) Threat of a catastrophic event (IRA bomb at Trafford Centre)
4) Sparing the person who did a good deed
5) Unknowing proximity to a dangerous person (IRA terrorist*)

I tried to point out that the odds of the same thing happening to two
different people were too great, and the likelihood that an IRA
operative reconnoitring for a major bombing campaign would reveal
details to bystanders that would jeapordise the operation seemed low,
but only the second mum seemed convinced. I suggested to the first mum
that she should try to contact the FOAF that it had happened to, to ask
her if it was really true, and that when she tried to trace the story
back to its origin she wouldn't be able to. She said she would, but as
she has nine-month-old twins I bet she'll be too busy.

Debunking isn't easy, is it? The general consensus was that there was
probably nothing in it, but that they would avoid the Trafford Centre
during March just in case. I wonder what will happen to the story when
March is up - perhaps it will resurface as a warning to avoid Meadowhall
in Sheffield during April.

Is this a UK-specific UL or are there any similar US ones - warnings to
avoid a particular place at a particular time for fear of some
catastrophe?

* I really don't want to start a thread on Irish politics, and I am well
aware that one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter,
but to people in Manchester the possibility of another IRA bomb is a
very real threat.

--
Sian "delurking cautiously" Massey

Ian A. York

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Mar 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/7/00
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In article <v+ZTkEAa...@altricm.demon.co.uk>,

Sian Massey <mas...@altricm.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>and afterwards said, "You did me a good turn, so I'll do you one. Don't
>come here during March." She went to the police, who showed her a book
>of photos of known IRA operatives. On the second page was the man she'd
>seen in McDonald's.

Absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

There *was* another version of this, as you guessed. It was set in
Australia, and the grateful killer was a mass killer. I can't find the
discussion in DejaNews, probably because I'm kind of shaky on the details;
as I remember it, someone offered a hitchhiker a ride; weeks later, the
driver was in (a MacDonalds?), and someone was shooting people at random;
the killer, who turned out the be the hitchhiker, saw the driver and told
him, "You're okay, mate" and let him go.

In a horrific detail that I may have invented, the hitchhiker then went
and killed the driver's wife and children instead.

If DejaNews didn't suck, I might have been able to find the true details.

Ian
--
Ian York (iay...@panix.com) <http://www.panix.com/~iayork/>
"Blinton did not care for folk lore (very bad men never do), but
he had to act as he was told." --Andrew Lang, Books and Bookmen

Helge Moulding

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Mar 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/7/00
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Ian A. York wrote in message <8a3d5v$27d$1...@news.panix.com>...

>Sian Massey <mas...@altricm.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>and afterwards said, "You did me a good turn, so I'll do you one. Don't
>>come here during March." She went to the police, who showed her a book
>>of photos of known IRA operatives. On the second page was the man she'd
>>seen in McDonald's.
>Absolutely beautiful. Thank you.

ObAOL: Me too!

I also recall that a story like this was used in "Good Morning,
Vietnam!" where Williams's character is saved from a terrorist
attack by some terrorist whom he'd treated nice.

>There *was* another version of this, as you guessed. It was set in

>Australia, and the grateful killer was a mass killer. [...]

But isn't that kinda what supposedly happened during last week's
fast food killings? I clearly recall reading that the killer passed
up the chance to murder at least one Black person, and told that
person that he was only after Whites.

What I'm saying is, it seems like that might be a case of life
imitating UL. Of course, like I always love to point out, a UL is
not a story that never happened. In this case, it may happen more
often than one might guess...
--
Helge "Give the nice maniac a quarter." Moulding
mailto:hmou...@excite.com Just another guy
http://hmoulding.cjb.net/ with a weird name


Tim Dunne

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Mar 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/7/00
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"Sian Massey" <mas...@altricm.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:v+ZTkEAa...@altricm.demon.co.uk...

<snip new good UL and stuff>

Nice one, I've not heard that one before. But do me a favour, do
terrorists (of any persuasion) *really* go to rekky a prospective site
without the requisite monies for comestibles? Would they really blow the
plot open by indirectly telling someone their plan?
My guess is that the guy in question was a disgruntled (ex?)employee who
knew of the McRib deal promotion currently running in UK, and tried to alert
the hapless consumer in question to the preposterous premanufactured porcine
product. Think of the average McD's employee: broke, aggressive, poor social
skills - it just makes *sense* to me. Hey, my digestive system was an
unwitting victim of the McRib act of terror and I don't think I'll be
touching any food with a 'Mc' prefix for a very long time. Ugh.

> Debunking isn't easy, is it? The general consensus was that there was
> probably nothing in it, but that they would avoid the Trafford Centre
> during March just in case.

No. I tried to debunk the 'gangs of foreigners roaming around in gangs of
thirty picking pockets and the police won't arrest them' last week and got
nowhere. People believe these things because their existence (or indeed,
prejudice) is in some way reinforced by the message/existence of the UL -
debunking the UL threatens people's beliefs. I've tried to debunk the gold
thread drilled with holes and coreolis swirling water to the same group of
people before and you can't show them anything. To them it's all 100% truth.
In my humble opinion, Ivan Dorschuk[1] said it best... 'people don't think,
they just eat what you feed them'. It's sad, but people just accept stuff
and not question it - I've done as much myself, many times.

> ...I wonder what will happen to the story when


> March is up - perhaps it will resurface as a warning to avoid Meadowhall
> in Sheffield during April.

If I were you, I'd avoid the Bull Ring Shopping Centre in Birmingham, UK,
for the foreseeable future, just to make sure. Not because it may get
bombed, but because it is very, very depressing. I live near there, so I
should know.

> ...but to people in Manchester the possibility of another IRA bomb is a
> very real threat.

Possibly, but not necessarily. Thinks are improving, after all.

> Sian "delurking cautiously" Massey

Tim 'Discussing happily' Dunne

[1] Late of Montreal band 'Men Without Hats' and frankly, my dears, a bit of
a sharp lyricist. He just hid it well, that was all.

barbara_n

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Mar 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/7/00
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On 7 Mar 2000 17:10:23 GMT, iay...@panix.com (Ian A. York) wrote:

>If DejaNews didn't suck, I might have been able to find the true details.

Newsguy.com now offers search capabilities, for messages that are
still on their server. You can search without being a member,
although to read the messages membership is required. Sometimes
there will be enough information to figure out what word(s) to
search Deja on which will bring up earlier posts.

Barbara Needham

Deborah Stevenson

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Mar 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/7/00
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On Wed, 8 Mar 2000, Phil Edwards wrote:

> On Tue, 7 Mar 2000 16:31:22 +0000, Sian Massey
> <mas...@altricm.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >A director of her husband's firm's wife's friend was in McDonald's in
> >the Trafford Centre (large new shopping mall in Manchester). A man with
> >an Irish accent behind her in the queue rather threateningly asked her
> >for a pound coin . She complied, to get rid of him. He got his food,

> >and afterwards said, "You did me a good turn, so I'll do you one. Don't
> >come here during March." She went to the police, who showed her a book
> >of photos of known IRA operatives. On the second page was the man she'd
> >seen in McDonald's.

[snip]

> On the level of plausibility, of course, it's bobbins: unless the IRA
> man was *extremely* incompetent, the last thing he'd do would be make
> his presence felt by scrounging money in a noticeably Irish accent.
> Actually that's the next-to-last thing he'd do - the *last* thing he'd
> do would be to drop dark hints about IRA bombing campaigns.

I've got a plausibility query that probably comes from my not being
Mancunian. I realize that we're not reporting, you know, *verbatim* what
happened in this exchange and all. However, is it a standard Manchester
reaction to go to the police when somebody tells you not to go to
McDonalds in March? Is it sufficiently suggestive enough a hint to drive
people to the cops, or does the story maybe need an insistent sister at
home or something?

Deborah Stevenson
(stev...@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu)


Helge Moulding

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Mar 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/7/00
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Deborah Stevenson wrote in message ...
> [...]is it a standard Manchester

>reaction to go to the police when somebody tells you not to go to
>McDonalds in March?

Well, gorblimey, missus, but that bloke talked like a Paddy,
dint 'e?
--
Helge "As good as convicted." Moulding

Deborah Stevenson

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Mar 7, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/7/00
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On Tue, 7 Mar 2000, Helge Moulding wrote:

> Deborah Stevenson wrote in message ...
> > [...]is it a standard Manchester
> >reaction to go to the police when somebody tells you not to go to
> >McDonalds in March?
>
> Well, gorblimey, missus, but that bloke talked like a Paddy,
> dint 'e?

Could be he just knew that was the month they weren't going to import
Irish beef.

Seriously, I'm curious whether an Irish accent and any kind of warning (I
suppose it's the perfect sensibility of being warned away from McDonalds
for any number of reasons that's sticking me) would be sufficient to send
somebody in Manchester to the cops. I'm wondering if this is the
difference between the meaning of his nationality narratively and in
reality, just as in other ULs actions are correlated to people's types for
their moral point without necessarily their being any particular regard
for the plausibility of that connection. Sort of like the clue in a TV
mystery that comes from the soundtrack and the casting, which tipoffs the
sleuth presumably doesn't benefit from.

Deborah Stevenson
(stev...@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu)


Phil Edwards

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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On Tue, 7 Mar 2000 16:31:22 +0000, Sian Massey
<mas...@altricm.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>A director of her husband's firm's wife's friend was in McDonald's in
>the Trafford Centre (large new shopping mall in Manchester). A man with
>an Irish accent behind her in the queue rather threateningly asked her
>for a pound coin . She complied, to get rid of him. He got his food,
>and afterwards said, "You did me a good turn, so I'll do you one. Don't
>come here during March." She went to the police, who showed her a book
>of photos of known IRA operatives. On the second page was the man she'd
>seen in McDonald's.
>

>Another mum then said she'd heard the same story, only it happened to
>her friend's auntie's daughter's friend, and the man had been in front
>of her in the queue, and short of change to pay for his meal, and she
>had helpfully made up the shortfall.

I love it. Particularly the friend-of-wife-of-coworker-of-husband
version - it's such a clear example of the difference between what
makes a good story and what's actually plausible. On the level of
folklore, the story works perfectly - do a good deed to an Evil Man
and it won't stop him being Evil, but it'll get you out of danger.
It's such an appealing moral I almost want to believe it myself.
(Doctor, the memes! They're - they're *propagating*!)

On the level of plausibility, of course, it's bobbins: unless the IRA
man was *extremely* incompetent, the last thing he'd do would be make
his presence felt by scrounging money in a noticeably Irish accent.
Actually that's the next-to-last thing he'd do - the *last* thing he'd
do would be to drop dark hints about IRA bombing campaigns.

All this and another reason to avoid the Trafford Centre. Nice one.

Phil "March the 7th and counting" Edwards
--
Phil Edwards http://www.users.zetnet.co.uk/amroth/
"A long, long time ago, when I was very young, I read a book."
- Ian York

John Francis

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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In article <8a4845$2avh$1...@si05.rsvl.unisys.com>,

Helge Moulding <hmou...@excite.com> wrote:
>Deborah Stevenson wrote in message ...
>> [...]is it a standard Manchester
>>reaction to go to the police when somebody tells you not to go to
>>McDonalds in March?
>
>Well, gorblimey, missus, but that bloke talked like a Paddy,
>dint 'e?

That's London, not Manchester.

(gorblimey, missus, bloke, and maybe even Paddy)

Phil Edwards

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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On Tue, 7 Mar 2000 20:05:12 -0600, Deborah Stevenson
<stev...@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu> wrote:

>
>On Tue, 7 Mar 2000, Helge Moulding wrote:
>
>> Deborah Stevenson wrote in message ...

>> >is it a standard Manchester
>> >reaction to go to the police when somebody tells you not to go to
>> >McDonalds in March?
>>
>> Well, gorblimey, missus, but that bloke talked like a Paddy,
>> dint 'e?
>

>Seriously, I'm curious whether an Irish accent and any kind of warning (I
>suppose it's the perfect sensibility of being warned away from McDonalds
>for any number of reasons that's sticking me) would be sufficient to send
>somebody in Manchester to the cops. I'm wondering if this is the
>difference between the meaning of his nationality narratively and in
>reality, just as in other ULs actions are correlated to people's types for
>their moral point without necessarily their being any particular regard
>for the plausibility of that connection.

Nothing to add - I think that's exactly right.

Phil "bang on, if you'll pardon the expression" Edwards

Joseph Michael Bay

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com (John Francis) writes:

>>Deborah Stevenson wrote in message ...

>>> [...]is it a standard Manchester


>>>reaction to go to the police when somebody tells you not to go to
>>>McDonalds in March?

>>Well, gorblimey, missus, but that bloke talked like a Paddy,
>>dint 'e?

>That's London, not Manchester.

>(gorblimey, missus, bloke, and maybe even Paddy)

More specifically, it's Dick van Dyke.

Joe "" Bay
--
Joseph M. Bay Boy Genius
Putting the "harm" in the "Molecular Pharmacology" since 1997
(Oo) Yog Sothoth Neblod Zin (oO)
/{|\ What Would Cthulhu Do? /|}\

john_h_schmitt

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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In article <1f5bcsgepg2fqkqt6...@4ax.com>, Phil
Edwards <amr...@zetnet.co.uk> wrote:

[Sian Massey makes a distinguished debut by AFU standards]

>On the level of plausibility, of course, it's bobbins: unless
the IRA
>man was *extremely* incompetent, the last thing he'd do would be
make
>his presence felt by scrounging money in a noticeably Irish
accent.
>Actually that's the next-to-last thing he'd do - the *last*
thing he'd
>do would be to drop dark hints about IRA bombing campaigns.

I was involved (peripherally) with the police investigation of
the Inglis Barracks [1]bombing. I had been part of the service
crew on a camp site contiguous with the barracks, and three
Kiwis[2] had stayed on the site, leaving the afternoon before the
explosion. The police wanted to eliminate them from their
enquiries. The CID man pointed out "IRA terrorists don't all have
thick Irish accents and a parcel prominently marked "BOMB", you
know." If these men were the terrorists, their disguise was
/prachtwoll/. These characters turned up in a VW combi of many
colours, principally rust, wore flip-flops, shorts, and bumfluff
beards. they whinged constantly about the weather, the price of
living and the absence of Steinlager.

John "is Phil a WRA sleeper?[3]" Schmitt

[1] An army centre in North West London, which was the army's
post office for the whole world. Until the bombing, the security
was such that you could take a shortcut back from the pub through
parts of it. After the bombing the razor wire and armed sentries
appeared. Puts me in mind of stable doors and horses.

[2] New Zealanders. Not an offensive term, as they use it to
describe themselves.

[3] "In" joke.


* Sent from RemarQ http://www.remarq.com The Internet's Discussion Network *
The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet - Free!


Sian Massey

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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In article <Pine.SGI.4.10.100030...@alexia.lis.uiuc.ed
u>, Deborah Stevenson <stev...@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu> writes

>Seriously, I'm curious whether an Irish accent and any kind of warning (I
>suppose it's the perfect sensibility of being warned away from McDonalds
>for any number of reasons that's sticking me) would be sufficient to send
>somebody in Manchester to the cops. I'm wondering if this is the
>difference between the meaning of his nationality narratively and in
>reality, just as in other ULs actions are correlated to people's types for
>their moral point without necessarily their being any particular regard

>for the plausibility of that connection. Sort of like the clue in a TV
>mystery that comes from the soundtrack and the casting, which tipoffs the
>sleuth presumably doesn't benefit from.
>
>Deborah Stevenson
>(stev...@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu)
>

It's analogous to seeing someone acting suspiciously in the street,
perhaps trying the door handles of cars or scouting round a possibly
empty house. There could be a perfectly innocent explanation, so should
you or shouldn't you call the police?

Different people would probably act in different ways. Someone
particularly brave or self confident might challenge the person.
Someone else might think it was nothing to do with them and be too busy
or not bothered enough to act. Someone worried about crime, especially
if they had been a victim of crime themselves in the past, might think
it was best to be on the safe side and call the police.

Personally I don't assume everyone with an Irish accent must be in the
IRA. But it's only four years since the Arndale Centre in the centre of
Manchester was severely damaged by a bomb (friends of mine were shopping
nearby at the time) so I do think that one reason this story has caught
on in Manchester is that people here are a little more nervous than
elsewhere about such things now that the peace process is in trouble,
and might be a little more likely to call the police even over a warning
that seemed as unlikely as this.

Also, it's necessary for the structure of the story. How else would the
protagonist have got official confirmation that the man was really in
the IRA?

--
Sian

Deborah Stevenson

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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On Wed, 8 Mar 2000, Sian Massey wrote:

> It's analogous to seeing someone acting suspiciously in the street,
> perhaps trying the door handles of cars or scouting round a possibly
> empty house. There could be a perfectly innocent explanation, so should
> you or shouldn't you call the police?

I guess my question is "Just how analogous is it?" I'm thinking actually
not as much as the story suggests.

>
> Different people would probably act in different ways. Someone
> particularly brave or self confident might challenge the person.
> Someone else might think it was nothing to do with them and be too busy
> or not bothered enough to act. Someone worried about crime, especially
> if they had been a victim of crime themselves in the past, might think
> it was best to be on the safe side and call the police.

That's why I thought there needed to be a nervous sister at home--she'd
have been perfect. But a history would do too.


>
> Also, it's necessary for the structure of the story. How else would the
> protagonist have got official confirmation that the man was really in
> the IRA?

I think this is the major reason, actually. And since the story proves
her right, she's obviously a woman of discernment for going to the police,
so who are we to doubt her judgment just because she's fictional?

Deborah Stevenson
(stev...@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu)


Utter Tosser

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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yeah i used to live in birmingham ... are they ever going to knock it down
and rebuild. I know they keep talking about it. Now i live in manchester
....... shite


utter tosser
"This is the funniest goddamned filth I've ever read." - Mother Theresa of
Calcutta


Tim Dunne <timd...@bluesparks.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message
news:8a3sgi$4u0$1...@newsg1.svr.pol.co.uk...

Iain Gibson

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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Phil Edwards wrote:
>
> On Tue, 7 Mar 2000 16:31:22 +0000, Sian Massey
> <mas...@altricm.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> >A director of her husband's firm's wife's friend was in McDonald's in
> >the Trafford Centre (large new shopping mall in Manchester). A man with
> >an Irish accent behind her in the queue rather threateningly asked her
> >for a pound coin . She complied, to get rid of him. He got his food,
> >and afterwards said, "You did me a good turn, so I'll do you one. Don't
> >come here during March." She went to the police, who showed her a book
> >of photos of known IRA operatives. On the second page was the man she'd
> >seen in McDonald's.
> >
> >Another mum then said she'd heard the same story, only it happened to
> >her friend's auntie's daughter's friend, and the man had been in front
> >of her in the queue, and short of change to pay for his meal, and she
> >had helpfully made up the shortfall.
>
> On the level of plausibility, of course, it's bobbins: unless the IRA
> man was *extremely* incompetent, the last thing he'd do would be make
> his presence felt by scrounging money in a noticeably Irish accent.
> Actually that's the next-to-last thing he'd do - the *last* thing he'd
> do would be to drop dark hints about IRA bombing campaigns.
>
Just a thought - perhaps the man in the queue was not a member of the
IRA,
but simply an Irishman with a warped sense of humour. At the risk of
crossing
the line into politics, there have been suggestions during past IRA
bombing
campaigns that being caught on the mainland in possession of an Irish
accent
was enough to get you arrested. It wouldn't be the first time I've heard
an Irishman allude to that suspicion.
The part about the police photo book would of course be added
"window-dressing".

Iain "You'll be counting years, first five, then ten" Gibson

Helge Moulding

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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John Francis wrote in message <8a4bcd$ijto5$1...@fido.engr.sgi.com>...

>Helge Moulding <hmou...@excite.com> wrote:
>>Well, gorblimey, missus, but that bloke talked like a Paddy,
>>dint 'e?
>That's London, not Manchester.

It's what Manchester would sound like with a German accent.
--
Helge "Nicht wahr?" Moulding

Phil Edwards

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Mar 8, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/8/00
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On 8 Mar 2000 02:23:32 -0800, jm...@Stanford.EDU (Joseph Michael Bay)
wrote:

>jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com (John Francis) writes:
>
>>>Well, gorblimey, missus, but that bloke talked like a Paddy,
>>>dint 'e?
>
>>That's London, not Manchester.
>

>>(gorblimey, missus, bloke, and maybe even Paddy)
>
>More specifically, it's Dick van Dyke.

"Oi! Peddy!"
"Is he talking to us?" "Not sure - what did he say?"
"Peddy! Wot's yer nime?"
"Did you get any of that?" "No, not a word."
"OI, PEDDY! WOT'S YER FACKING NIME?"
"He seems to be upset about something." "Yes - I wonder what it is?"

- encounter between cockernee squaddie and NI locals, as seen by
Cormac[1], cartoonist in _Republican News_[1].

[1] Whose politics I don't intend to discuss here.

Phil "we would of course say 'by eck, his Irish accent was gorgeous'"

Tim Dunne

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Mar 9, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/9/00
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"Sian Massey" <mas...@altricm.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:k$iBUCA1x...@altricm.demon.co.uk...

<snip stuff>

> Personally I don't assume everyone with an Irish accent must be in the
> IRA.

That's very charitable, I must say. How does your Venn diagram go? My
perspective would suggest that not all of the members of the IRA are
Irishmen... please, please, the terrorists are in an absolute minority. I
don't assume all Moslems are members of Hesbollar or that all Americans are
gun-toting extremists. Some things go without saying. Some people are just -
uh - nuts.

> ...But it's only four years since the Arndale Centre in the centre of


> Manchester was severely damaged by a bomb (friends of mine were shopping
> nearby at the time) so I do think that one reason this story has caught
> on in Manchester is that people here are a little more nervous than
> elsewhere about such things now that the peace process is in trouble,
> and might be a little more likely to call the police even over a warning
> that seemed as unlikely as this.

I can see where you are coming from, but it doesn't follow necessarily.
Birmingham suffered the dreadful pub bombings - and has had, at times, a
stressful relationship with its' huge Irish community. Believe me, the
residents of Birmingham are wary, but would be unlikely to compute <break
down in peace process = increased security risk>. What we are talking about
here is classic UL stuff: cartoon bogeyman, good deed, spared protagonist,
knowledgeable cops. Its a bloody neat tale - that's why I think it has legs,
and not so much the current security climate. I would not be surprised if
this mutates throughout the country before too long. It may have done so
already. However, like a few regularly repeated UL's it does give voice to,
and 'justify', in a certain way, a continued anti-minority prejudice.

> Also, it's necessary for the structure of the story. How else would the
> protagonist have got official confirmation that the man was really in
> the IRA?

Uh, official? It's worth noting that the story falls down on one major
point - why would the person in question be asked to identify the suspect
from a photo? The centre is riddled with CCTV cameras which I am sure are
recorded routinely. The authorities are not about to let the same thing
happen again - every precaution would, and indeed is, being taken, and quite
rightly so. What this story does to me is link two great British paranoias -
aggressive beggars and the Irish problem all in one neat little bundle. With
a side order of Uncle Macs - which always helps.
I love it already.

Tim 'gotanny spare change mate? - dunno, I ay finished livin' yet[1]' Dunne

[1] Overheard exchange between beggar and prospective donor in Chamberlain
Square, Brum, December 1999

JoAnne Schmitz

unread,
Mar 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/18/00
to
On Wed, 8 Mar 2000 07:55:07 -0600, Deborah Stevenson
<stev...@alexia.lis.uiuc.edu> wrote:

>And since the story proves
>her right, she's obviously a woman of discernment for going to the police,
>so who are we to doubt her judgment just because she's fictional?

This is an important part of many ULs. The person who has a prejudice or
suspicion has it confirmed by a fictional fact-checker, so further exercise
of prejudice or suspicion by that person must be true, since his/her
judgment has been "confirmed."

In this case, mistrust of Irish people, and general fear that any little
thing might mean catastrophe, are both confirmed without having to actually
check one's suspicions against real life.

JoAnne "intuition often answers poorly to counterexamples" Schmitz

JoAnne Schmitz

unread,
Mar 18, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/18/00
to
On Wed, 8 Mar 2000 11:41:41 +0000, Sian Massey <mas...@altricm.demon.co.uk>
wrote:

>It's analogous to seeing someone acting suspiciously in the street,


>perhaps trying the door handles of cars or scouting round a possibly
>empty house. There could be a perfectly innocent explanation, so should
>you or shouldn't you call the police?

Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the "perfectly innocent explanation"
for trying the door handles on a bunch of cars?

JoAnne "high crime rate area resident" Schmitz

Nathan Tenny

unread,
Mar 20, 2000, 3:00:00 AM3/20/00
to
In article <bbg7dskq64h9l3fll...@4ax.com>,

"Listen, I can't leave work to return your <whatever> right now, but if you
want, stop by my place and get it out of my car---it's unlocked. Oops, gotta
go." <click> <dialtone>

"Wait! What kind of car? Uh..."

OK, so I'm reaching a little.

NT
--
Nathan Tenny | Words I carry in my pocket, where they
Qualcomm, Inc., San Diego, CA | breed like white mice.
<nten...@qualcomm.com> | - Lawrence Durrell

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