Friday, February 25, 2011

Yesterday Has Gone

Far-left bad-boy Richard Seymour (aka Lenin) gets given a CiF piece, Laban takes issue with most bits, agrees with some :

As a share of GDP, wages have fallen from a high of 64% in 1974 to approximately 54% in 2010. This is despite the fact that we have become more productive.

Correct. The split between wages and profit is tilting more and more towards profit. The profit goes to shareholders, who tend more and more to be the high-paid. Wealth becomes concentrated while wages stagnate. We're seeing this replicated across the Atlantic, too.

"What has happened is the direct culmination of Thatcherite class war, aimed at breaking up the bargaining power of labour"

Cobblers. Thatcherite class war, if it can be so called, was only one of the factors breaking up the bargaining power of labour. It would have fared very poorly against the working class of, say, 1956. The other factors were all related to one overriding phenomenon - the collapse of British cultural self-confidence and social cohesion between around 1963 and 2003 (though some would say the process is not yet complete). This cultural revolution has transformed Britain - most Guardian readers now would be horrified at Attlee's country of 60 years back.

The effect of the 60s cultural revolution was devastating for the British working class. As Sheila Rowbotham put it in the Guardian :

"Four decades on, we can see that the rebellions of 1968 coincided with capitalism changing gear."

That's one way of putting it. But it was no coincidence.

The brilliantly successful cultural revolution weakened the old culture to the point where capitalism, flexible by nature and untrammeled by its previous cultural constraints, could flourish on the weakened social organism like some opportunistic infection.

We can identify three main strands or themes when examining the effects of the collapse :

a) individualism and infantilism rather than communalism and responsibility

"what's good for me"

"if it feels good, do it"

"love the one you're with"

"Access - takes the waiting out of wanting"

"all that really matters is right now"

All of these cultural trends were ominous for traditional trade union and working class solidarity, which often required deferred gratification and individual self-sacrifice.

b) newly educated middle class children (often of working class origin), without experience of poverty or war, who both swallowed the 60s medicine whole, and preached it to the least self-confident and most vulnerable of the working class. I wonder now how much the existence of 1970s-style Claimants Unions, whose middle class volunteers preached that the working class were OWED a living by "the state", played in creating the underclass of the 80s and beyond.

At the same time, those working class people who rejected the 60s gospel were looked down on by their newly liberated children, who may have loved them but were slightly ashamed of them (I remember the contempt my uncles had for people who chose to live on benefits. What could they, in a South Wales steelworks all their working life, have to teach a politics student about socialism?). This tendency is now the default view, in that 'enlightened' left views are now a sign of a civilised middle-class person - those not holding such views being irredeemable hicks, Sun readers.

c) a consequence of b), mass immigration.

"Disembowel Enoch Powell" chanted the students in 1969 outside the Any Questions venue. What did the demonstrations in his favour by the London dockers count for against civilised opinion ? You can see that the rupture between the working class and their self-appointed leaders and defenders goes back a long way.

Mass immigration's main effect has been to drive down wages :

“The main purpose of the bourgeois in relation to the worker is, of course, to have the commodity labour as cheaply as possible, which is only possible when the supply of this commodity is as large as possible in relation to the demand for it”

But nearly as important to capitalists is that a religiously and ethnically divided working class is much less likely to combine effectively against them - there are so many fault lines to exploit.

"Today, capitalism's crisis is all the deeper"

No it ain't. British society's crisis has rarely never been deeper in our history - but meanwhile the capitalists are filling their boots - while there's still stuff left to loot. Remember, they're 60s children too. All that really matters is right now.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

News From Google

I'm pleased (?) to announce that I'm #3 search result for "my ex comes from jamaica he is now in uk prison for a crime he got 3 yrs we have 2 children here in the uk can he be deported when he served his time? what human rights might he have to stay in the uk?"

Don't worry, love. First, he'll be out in less than 18 months - more like a year max. Then his 'right to family life' will trump the right of the law-abiding Brit to safety from a foreign criminal. There's no doubt about it, finding a baby-mama is a sensible strategy for anyone coming here who fancies a life of crime.

(I suppose, being an ex, she might just be hoping he'll be deported. No chance.)

I Think I Like It ...

Ms Palin now has the Moose-Shootin'-Momma comic strip, in which she does battle against the evil Al Gore.

The plot sounds far-fetched though. A cartel of energy companies and government conspiring to massively increase prices and profits, in exchange for green fantasies that will leave us all freezing in the dark? Don't be ridiculous.

UPDATE - I hadn't realised. 'Steampunk Palin' is obviously an attempt to cash in on the success of 'Sarah Palin - Rogue Warrior'.

Could Gaddafi Win ?

OK, so he's lost 3/4 of the country. But as I understand it, the army units which opposed him have just taken off their uniforms and gone home, rather than staying intact.

No matter how brave the people who've looted the armouries, given that Gaddafi's not fussy about shooting demonstrators, bombing them or turning naval gunfire on them, surely the decision in Libya's going to come down to 'who's got the tanks and aircraft?'. If Gaddafi's troops and mercenaries have a unified command and the hardware, won't they win even if 90% of the country's against them?

Remember the city of Hama in Syria. Lefties will still throw the massacre at Sabra and Shatila at Israel and the Maronite Christians - and it was indeed a grievous crime, condemned by the world. Yet Assad of Syria could bomb a Syrian city, surround it with troops then (after an earlier assault failed) destroy it with artillery and kill tens of thousands with hardly a squeak.

Massacre of opponents and anyone near them is a very effective way of operating, if you don't care about slaughtering your own civilians and neither does the rest of the world. Lenin and Stalin could tell you that. I'd like to see Gaddafi hanged (if only for sending large amounts of arms and explosives to the IRA - the then Labour government tried to bribe him not to do it) but I'm not sure he's anywhere near dead yet.

UPDATE - while we're on the subject of Labour bribes to Gaddafi, at least Harold Wilson's attempts were in a good cause.

“The first thing that must be understood about the Megrahi affair is the vastness of the entanglements among Libya, the oil companies, and the Blair government. This is no ordinary set of relationships, and the economic stakes are high. As the Blair era wound down, and as officials began looking toward wealth and security in the afterlife, the opportunities available in Libya loomed very large. They had everything to gain by a show of cooperation. As a result, what one sees in the final years of Tony Blair’s government is the transformation of New Labour into something that might be called New Libya.”

And Gordon Brown was sending the SAS to train their troops less than two years ago.


I see that eight schoolchildren were shot at with a BB gun yesterday, in Church Street, Auchinleck.

Photo - Michael McGurk/Daily Mail

Church Street is also where Labour MSP and Scottish Justice Minister Cathy Jamieson was given a traditional Ayrshire welcome (by this chap) on a visit to the local Co-Op.

UPDATE - via commenter dr cromarty, this :

"Police have been called to a junior football match in Ayrshire after reports that fans were fighting on the pitch. The violence flared at the game, between Cumnock Juniors and Auchinleck Talbot, which ended with a 3-0 victory for Achinleck.
Strathclyde Police confirmed that a disturbance had broken out at the game and that the incident was on going. The teams are playing a local derby game in the Emirates Junior Cup."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Those Tough New Immigration Rules

... explained by commenter Sassenach in this Guardian thread :

"From the main article:

It is right that immigration must be controlled, which is why Labour was right to introduce the points-based system (PBS) for managing migration.

Speaking as somebody who's worked for the last 6 years as an immigration caseworker and seen PBS in operation right from its infancy, I have to say I found this sentence rather amusing. PBS is a complete shambles. In fact it's such a complete shambles that in my more cynical moments I begin to suspect that it was deliberately designed that way. Fraud and abuse are absolutely rife across all tiers, and there are gaping loopholes all over the place that seem specifically tailored to making our job of controlling the borders more difficult.

Let's take Tier 1, which is supposedly the route for attracting highly skilled people. I know this area very well since it's the area I've spent most of my career working in. At present, if you talk to any caseworker who handles Tier 1 General applications they'll all tell you that it's a complete joke. I know this will just sound like hyperbole, like I'm exaggerating for effect, but I mean no word of a lie when I say that my estimate of Tier 1 General applications is that at the very least 50% of them are completely fictitious. I'm not alone in this view, and in fact I only differ from my colleagues in that I'm slightly more charitable in my assessment, most would put it well above 50%.

The most common ruse, and believe me it's almost physically impossible to go through a day without coming across an application of this type, is to supply completely bogus evidence of self-employment income in order to prove that you score points in the earnings band. This is so pitifully easy to do it's hilarious. The people who drafted the policy for Tier 1, in their infinite wisdom, decided that all we need to 'prove' self-employment income is a letter from an accountant accompanied by unaudited business accounts. Generally these are drawn up by dodgy accountants who deal exclusively with overseas nationals, but in reality it doesn't even require the accountant to break the law since they're not carrying out an audit, all they have to do is add a disclaimer saying that the accounts and accountant letter have been drawn up according to information supplied by the applicant. In effect this amounts to taking their word for it. We ask an applicant how much money they earned and whatever they tell us we accept at face value. I've lost count of the times I've seen somebody who works the night shift stacking shelves in Tesco for £6 an hour and then in his spare time works as a self-employed 'business consultant' on about £60k a year. We even talked one time about doing 'self-employed bingo' in our office, where we'd write out bingo cards with Tesco, Sainsburys, McDonalds etc on them and whoever came across Tier 1 General applicants working there first got to take a cash prize.... (we weren't allowed to do it though).

The reason I mention this in particular is because staff at the coalface who work Tier 1 applications have been making as much noise as we possibly can about this and any number of other laughably lax loopholes ever since PBS began but nothing has ever been done. There have been various changes to the policy but all of them have actually made it even easier to defraud the system. So whoever it was earlier in the thread who quoted that survey that supposedly found Tier 1 General migrants to be regularly working in high salary jobs, I'm afraid I still haven't stopped laughing. Sure, some of them are, but the vast majority are not, or certainly the ones I come across each and every day.

Now let's consider Tier 2. This is the system which was brought in to replace the old Work Permit system. Now, I don't actually have direct experience of working cases under the old system, but I obviously know a helluva lot of people who do and to a man/woman they all say that it was vastly superior to the system Labour brought in to replace it. Which is not to say that it was particularly good of course, but Tier 2 has been a disaster. The root problem is the sponsorship system that's been introduced. Under the old system an employer needed to make an application for a specific permit for a specific job and was required to demonstrate that they'd carried out checks of the domestic labour market and that the job met certain wage and qualification criteria before the permit was issued. In practice of course the checks were not especially tough and it was easily abused, but at least there was some attempt to vet the people who were being given permits and some of them were refused. That all changed with Tier 2, and it changed for the worse.

As I was saying, the change brought in with Tier 2 was sponsorship (which also affects the issuing of student visas under Tier 4, with similar associated problems). What now happens is that a prospective employer simply hasa to apply to go on the Sponsors Register and they will be issued with an allocation of Certificates of Sponsorship. They can allocate these to whoever they wish, and pretty much all a caseworker on Tier 2 now has to do is check to make sure that an applicant has a valid CoS. All of the other checks such as resident labour market tests and various other checks that were supposed to ensure that onl;y suitably talented and necessary individuals get given work permits have been sub-contracted out to the sponsor, who in theory is meant to carry them out before issuing any CoS. Yeah right, I believe that too. It's a massive conflict of interests. We're effectively handing control of our borders directly to businesses who have a direct interest in not playing too closely by the rules.

This wouldn't necessarily be so bad if the compliance features of PBS were effective. In theory there are supposed to be regular audits of sponsors to punish those who are not fulfilling their obligations. In practice of course the resources available for compliance visits are miniscule and the sanctions are too feeble to be a concern. There are no criminal sanctions for failure to meet your sponsor obligations, all that might happen is you may be downgraded from an A to a B rating, or at worst removed from the register. Big deal, you could have sponsored 20 or 30 migrants through the door by then, and in any case it's pitifully easy to just register a new company and get back on the register with a different name. Background checks are absolutely laughable. Tier 2 is absolutely wide open to abuse, and so of course it's being heavily abused.

But the biggest scandal around Tier 2 isn't really fraud and abuse, it's the perfectly legal Intra-Company Transfer scam. This is absolutely staggering. We allow companies to bring in literally thousands of skilled workers from overseas every year under these visas. The worst offenders are the big IT contractors. Tata Consultancy Services have an annual allocation of 2500 ICT visas. 2500 every year ! Many of these come in on short term contracts of just under 1 year and so they benefit from a despicable taxation agreement which allows them not to be subject to any income tax on what they earn in the UK (which is paid as a 'subsistence allowance'). Needless to say this means that Tata (and all the other big Indian players in this market) can afford to pay their qualified staff thousands of pounds a year less than domestic competitors would have to pay to attract somebody similarly qualified. Not only does this depress wages in the sector for domestic workers, it also acts as in effect a massive competitive edge that is driving domestic companies out of business. We're directly subsidising big Indian multinationals and causing unemployment at home through our dysfunctional ICT system, it's a complete disgrace.

Tier 4 is even worse of course. It works on similar principles to the Tier 2 sponsorship system but the numbers are much,much greater. I believe that at last count there are somewhere in the region of 300,000 new Tier 4 students arriving in Britain every year. Approximately 48% of these (or thereabouts, I'm going from memory) are studying at below degree level in non-accredited colleges.This is the source of a ridiculous amount of abuse. There are thousands of bogus colleges out there, they spring up like mushrooms, get onto the sponsor register with ease and sponsor as many new students through the door as they possibly can before eventually being found out and closed down, when the owners (usually foreign nationals themselves) simply set up a new bogus college. All of this could be ended at a stroke if the rules of Tier 4 were to be changed to simply ban any tier 4 visas for non-accredited colleges or below degree level studies. Easy, quick and it would elminate over 100,000 migrants a year without affecting genuine students or university funding one iota. It's enough to make you wonder why they didn't do something like that 13 years ago instead of the opposite......"

At which point someone mentions the Report of the Migration Advisory Committee, particularly the graph on p96 showing that the vast majority of those applying for further leave to remain "are earning more than £40,000 pa" i.e. are "those nice skilled workers the UK needs so desperately".

"The problem with those figures from the MAC report is the methodology by which they were obtained. It was a small sample of cases that came up for extension. Now, there are 2 glaring issues here. One is that the time this data was sampled there was no easily accessible database of application data to draw from. It wouldn't have been possible to simply look at all applications for extension that came through because that would have been a truly enormous effort and required the recall of every file from deep storage and going through them one by one. I know for a fact that this never occurred, so it must have just been a small sampling exercise, probably involving a select few caseworkers who were asked to retain some data as they were working. Secondly of course, it assumes that the applicants were telling the truth. As I already explained Tier 1, and it's forerunner HSMP, are/were abused on a truly epic scale. All MAC did was look at what they claimed to be earning and assume it was the truth, which is a very dangerous thing to do."

The same commenter comes back with :

As for your point about abuse, the sample was restricted only to those whose FLR application was successful. I trust that you guys at UKBA are all professionals, and can quite easily find out who is telling the truth, and who is not.

"You're far too trusting my friend...

My point earlier about abuse within Tier 1 was meant to illustrate how the rules of the scheme had been written in such a way as to make it very difficult to tackle abuse. like I said, we all know that most of the people who apply claiming to be self-employed are lying to us but there's a limited amount we can do about it because they tick the appropriate boxes and supply the evidence that we stipulate. If all we're asking for as evidence of earnings is a letter from an accountant and unaudited accounts then there's not much we can do about it. How do you verify that information ? Since both forms of evidence came from the same source (the accountant) we could ring them up and ask them to confirm it, but all they say is that it was drawn up based on information supplied by the applicant. Since they're not required to carry out an audit they don;t have to actually physically verify this stuff themselves so it's an easy fee for them. This is just one example among many of how our own policy is written in such as way as to make verification of fake evidence extremely difficult.

It's interesting that you brought up the MAC report actually because one of the inadvertant effects of that report was to make Tier 1 even worse than it already was. One of the key recommendations was to bump up the bandings for earnings, meaning you now have to be earning a lot more money to score the same points than you used to. All this achieved was to drive away a lot of the legitimate applicants. We did used to have quite a lot of people earning 30-35k a year and in the old days this was often enough in combination with a masters degree and being under a certain age. Nowadays that's nowhere near enough, the same age applicant with the same qualification would need to be earning around 55-60k a year to get approved. The result has been that pretty much all we ever see these days is the fraudsters. They don't give a damn what level you set the earnings band at because all their evidence is fake anyway. Tier 1 General in the wake of that MAC report's recommendations is almost entirely comprised of fraudsters and merchant bankers (I'll leave you to make the obvious joke....)"

"Look, what I've described is the current situation with Tier 1 General and it's the reason why it's being scrapped (or it ought to be). It wasn't always quite this bad of course, and over the years quite a lot of talented people with good jobs have had Tier 1 or HSMP visas. However, it most certainly has always suffered from rampant abuse, which has been largely ignored by the higher-ups who set the policy but is an open secret among anybody who actually works at UKBA. You can choose to believe me about that or not, but I'm only sharing my perspective as somebody who knows a helluva lot more about Tier 1, and PBS in general, than anybody else in this thread."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If People Wouldn't Notice Things We Wouldn't Have To Hide Them

Blogger (and English professor) Sarah Annes Brown comments at Shiraz Socialist on 'grooming' :

"The grooming case seemed very complicated – I don’t think it is necessary to think that the men were wrongfully convicted to be able to at least *ask questions* about the way the case was reported. Was it under reported/investigated at first? Was it then over reported? If men of Pakistani origin were over represented in one particular crime in one particular area, does the picture change greatly if you look at a wider area and a wider range of sex crimes? Is it enough to ask whether a particular report of it seemed fair and balanced? Should one also look at whether the attention paid to the crime was (if not inherently objectionable) disproportionate, and thus a possible vector of anti-muslim bigotry? Or was the real problem the initial urge to cover the story up in order to protect sensitivities? Yet of course that initial urge wouldn’t have been felt if it wasn’t for the bigots."

(after the grooming issue appeared to be going mainstream in January, February seems to be business as usual. This story appears to have been completely ignored by BBC/Telegraph/Guardian etc. What's particularly impressive is the total, complete, utter silence on the issue from feminist writers* - saving only the mighty Bindel. As I've said before, race seems to trump gender for most soi-disant feminists. Not so for JB. She doesn't care what race or creed the abusers are - she judges them not by the colour of their skin, but by the contents - indeed the existence - of their scrota.)

* UPDATE - one or two people said 'what about Yazza' - and she has indeed condemned grooming by her co-religionists on more than one occasion and in no uncertain terms :

"The criminals feel they did no wrong. These girls to them are trash, asking to be wasted – unlike their own women, who must be kept from the disorderly world out there."

It's true that Yazza is indeed a feminist, but not a professional one. She has too wide a range of interests, enthusiasms and sympathies - which is why she's my monstre sacré. The missing feminists are the people who would, were the perpetrators white, be all over these cases.

People like the F-Word, or Cath Elliott, who finds time to bewail the involvement of Helena Kennedy in Julian Assange's defence team but has nothing to say about joint enterprises, often involving males from school-age to middle-age, to abuse, rape or prostitute young working class girls. For some bloggers (the Stroppers and Harpy spring to mind) I get the impression (and impression is all it is, garnered from reading their blogs regularly) that it's almost an unconscious decision - it raises all sorts of uncomfortable issues, it gives comfort to the far right - why go there when there are so many other things to blog about? I'm not sure that Cath Elliott, who from her writing seems to be a serious person quite capable of facing unpleasant realities, falls into that category.

Monday, February 21, 2011

One For The Guardian

Next time there's a Guardian article (and there will be, soon) on crime and punishment, and the usual suspects show up to contrast their empathy for the murderer of the moment with the sick, punitive authoritarianism of what I'd call 'my side' of the argument, I hope someone links to this, by a surgeon in South Africa (now there's a country for surgeons, if you like plenty of work).


'teaching other religions to our sisters'

Soon it'll be time for my daughter's school trip to the local mosque, which all pupils get when they hit year 9. I do wonder whether her Muslim classmates get a trip to a Sikh temple, a Catholic Church or a Jehovah's Witnesses assembly (to be fair, they're exposed to Catholicism-lite as pupils at a Catholic school).

From London, this :

"Four men launched a horrific attack on a teacher in which they slashed his face and left him with a fractured skull because they did not approve of him teaching religion to Muslim girls. Akmol Hussein, 26, Sheikh Rashid, 27, Azad Hussain, 25, and Simon Alam, 19, attacked Gary Smith with a Stanley knife, an iron rod and a block of cement. Mr Smith, who is head of religious education at Central Foundation Girls' School in Bow, East London, also suffered a fractured skull."

I remember wondering if it was just a coincidence or if he was targeted. What's weird is :

"Detectives made secret recordings of the gang's plot to attack Mr Smith prior to the brutal assault. The covert audio probe captured the gang condemning Mr Smith for 'teaching other religions to our sisters', the court heard."

Couldn't they have stopped it ? Just imagine if police had been monitoring the planning of some semi-mythical white supremacists before they succeeded in an attack - the conspiracy theorists would be all over the Guardian opinion pages. I would have thought Mr Smith would be consulting his union* - and his lawyers.

* yes, I know they'd have the squits over a case like this and would probably rather a dozen teachers were incapacitated than do anything that could possibly be seen as inimical to the rainbow nation narrative. But they are, formally, supposed to look after the interests of their members. This guy's been seriously injured for teaching the national curriculum.

From Know-Nothing To Know-Everything In Two Years

It's cognitive dissonance time again.

"Lib Dems: raise age of criminalisation to 14"

After all, there's no way that a thirteen year old can know whether something is wrong or not, is there?

"Nick Clegg: Yes I am a big supporter of votes at 16. The state can ask a 16 year old to fight and die for this country*, why not vote too?"

After all, there's no way that a sixteen year old isn't mature enough to take decisions on who should govern, is there ?

This leaves just a narrow window of two years for a young person to develop from only just being responsible for their own actions, to being responsible for the fate of the nation. As I wrote previously :

"The liberal policy wonks seem to be engaged in a process of lowering the age of political responsibility while simultaneously raising the age of responsibility for everything else."

* Clegg's talking nonsense. 16 and 17-year-olds don't get sent to the front line.

A Few Snowdrops From The Curate's Hedgerow

Muslim prison gang stab Serb war criminal. Why is he in a British jail - are we paying for him?

UPDATE - the attackers, including one of Mary-Anne Leneghan's killers, were all serving life (one of the others had killed while on bail for rape). They've been given life sentences - to run concurrently. In other words, no sentence at all.

Will Hutton's Work Foundation (formerly known as the Industrial Society) goes bust with a large pension deficit. I thought Mr Hutton was against that sort of thing? He's still dispensing economic advice in the Guardian, I see.

Man with 48 IQ (low enough to make him a 'vulnerable person') banned from having (homosexual) sex on the grounds that, inter alia, he fails to understand the health risks :

The judge said it requires an understanding and awareness of the “mechanics of the act”, “that there are health risks involved” and that sex between a man and a woman may lead to pregnancy. He said that the psychiatrist thought Alan “believed that babies were delivered by a stork or found under a bush”, and that “sex could give you spots or measles”. On that basis the judge ruled that Alan did not have the capacity to consent to sex, but also ordered that the council should provide him with sex education “in the hope that he thereby gains that capacity”.
And woman with 'learning dificulties' could be forcibly sterilised to stop her giving birth to any more children.

"We can't control the Duchess of York" said Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Fair play to her - I believe her former husband had a similar complaint.

Composer James MacMillan on BBC recruitment:
"In my Labour Party days, during the 80s miners’ strike, my local branch was visited by a representative of Militant Tendency, who were on a recruitment drive. The Trotskyists have used entryism as an effective manouevre for a long time. It was not just the Labour Party they targeted, but many of our other institutions. Years after this Militant spoke to us (again in a VERY LOUD VOICE) I saw him cropping up as a senior news and current affairs reporter on BBC Scotland"
And Andrew Brown on the BBC and Ye Olde Grooming Saga - the Beeb actually asked some Asian youth what they thought of the Gori :

"Today the BBC took a good look at multicultural Britain – and they didn’t like what they saw."

"Accusing minority groups of being a security risk because they are a minority group is not a new practice" sayeth the (State-funded) Samosa blog. Laban points out in the comments instances where minority groups did actually constitute such a risk, and suggests that the important thing is to be able to distinguish between ill-founded fears (of dual loyalties) and well-founded ones. The fact that people have frequently made bad calls on this doesn't mean that calls don't sometimes need to be made.

A remarkable R4 programme, 'Teenage Kicks', which isn't quite like the Undertones single, and which I didn't get to record, illustrates the condition of 'girlfriends' in (primarily) inner-city black youth culture, an elephant in the room ignored by the producer and feminist commenters. Gone are the days when you'd tell your mates what you'd been up to - the thing to do now is give them all a crack, if that's not an unfortunate expression in this instance.

"I need me a bitch, like I need my crew
I need me a bitch to pass on to my boys soon as I get through "

Remember the Battle of Mullingar ? Some participants have been jailed:

"Gardai had to use a bus to transfer to prison twenty members of an extended family who were imprisoned for their role in an attack on a family home in Mullingar in a riot involving up to 60 individuals armed with slash hooks, hatchets, pitchforks, baseball bats and stones."

And 'Ditsy' Nevin was later back in court on charges of threatening to shoot officers from the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau who paid him a visit:

Det Gda Harrington said he thought Mr Nevin was going to "strike" the Revenue Bureau officer. He said that the defendant told the men to "get off the site" or he would shoot them and shoot himself before adding that he'd have "no problem" getting a gun and using it. He said Mr Nevin indicated this by pointing his fingers to symbolise a gun to his head... the defendant said it was a "slip of a word that came out on the day".