Speaker 0 00:00:03 <inaudible>
Speaker 1 00:00:23 I'm Doug Giovanni and you're listening to the plastic podcasts, tales of the Irish diaspora. We all come from somewhere else. Find [email protected]
And while you're there, why not subscribe poet, playwright, novelist, documentary, short story and songwriter. My guest, Nick Burbridge is a powerhouse of creativity where the playing with McDermott's two hours collaborating with the levelers writing award-winning plays with Tommy McDermott's theater, engaging in debate on radio four, or having questions asked and the house of commons about his non-fiction investigation of the secret services war. Without honor, he has been described as a second generation Arash man with a high intellect and an angry disposition. Is that true, Nick?
Speaker 2 00:01:04 That was Jerry gala. He knows the, I used to own folk groups that we met. Aren't going to digress. I digress all the time.
Speaker 1 00:01:12 This is, uh, this is, uh, a, uh, warehouse, a digression here.
Speaker 2 00:01:16 He came down once to do the interview. After the, we went to a club with a big guy who is related distantly to Thomas Hart. He was a bouncer at the, at the club we'd come from. And because Jerry's voice, we went to a club that the big night and pulled the Ys out to the speakers and stood next to them so that we could do our interview in the corner of the club without being, um, so we got in, we could hear each other and meanwhile, people gathered around, but no one dare touch. Mr. Hardy. He was a big moment. And one of those teeth that you can push in and out, you know, there've been punched out and false teeth, but yeah. So after which Jerry did a full page article in the, um, info groups, which has followed since and describing as a, I do recognize it.
Speaker 2 00:02:07 Yeah. Um, both of my grandfathers were born and bred Irish man. And, um, and my father certainly had a very fierce intellect. Um, so, uh, yes, uh, uh, I'd like to think I inherited some of his internet, not altogether, all of his traits and the angry disposition. Yeah. I have always been pretty furious, um, about a lot of things, but then if I've been growing up now, I think it would be a fury that overwhelmingly, whereas, you know, in the factory days, for instance, um, there were so many people outwardly furious and doing something about it, um, that there was a sense of community that was 14 in 1968. So, um, uh, I remember, and I remember sending off to, to the Chinese embassy for my little red book, which I got in the post and reading marks at about 12 and 13. I just remember that being, uh, uh, was certainly late sixties, obviously then, then yes, then eighties and nineties, when there were wage, uh, of, of feeling that and the poll tax nowadays, people are banging pans in the street for nurses whose pay is being slashed and who, who will be charged to park and nobody is, is, seems furious.
Speaker 2 00:03:50 Do they?
Speaker 3 00:03:51 Well, I think to a certain extent they're furious, but in the other direction, the thing that I've noticed over the last few years is that the, the, the language of the revolutionary left and the attitudes of the revolutionary left from the sixties and seventies don't trust the man. You can't believe what you see, all that sort of thing has now been co-opted, um, by, by, by the, by the reactionary. Right?
Speaker 2 00:04:10 Well, of course, and you go full circle. They've ever had to choose between you go to the extremes on either end because, um, you, you read some of the, the, the, the venom that th th the very far left, not anarchists, I mean, far left within, um, socialist party network. I remember the associate's revolutionary work as part of the Vanessa red grind. So going to see, uh, a meeting with Jerry Haney, the little man who, who, who was one of the early, um, touch her feelers, um, that came out later, but watching his rallies was like, um, being at a Nazi rally. It, they, we just, um, the rhetoric and the, the, it didn't seem to me like very close to the, the, um, fury that I wanted to feel. It seemed like a formulaic. Um, and as my friend who took me there, who was a revolutionary station, he said, they will, you anarchist to the first people will have up against the wall when the revolution come.
Speaker 2 00:05:22 So, yeah, I think, I think I've been a lifelong anarchist, um, philosophically, you know, Chompsky, um, like, um, thinking and a kiss. And, and, um, I think there were times that there were times that that theory felt like it was shared not, or not co-opted, or not borrowed or not taken, but was actually spontaneous, like Portugal 74 or in Paris, six days. It was actually going to manifest in, in things falling apart in a, in a creative way. But that somehow now, well, he's got, what is, what are we doing? It's extraordinary. And then that's where I think if I was growing up now that fury would be probably descend into a kind of despair
Speaker 3 00:06:14 Normally with regards to, um, the, the plastic podcasts interviewees, it's a case of somebody will say, they're either born and raised initially in Ireland, I came across the weekend, <inaudible> born and raised in England from Irish parents and so forth. Uh, but there's a, there's, there's kind of a one-stop move, which is like an art and across to England. And that's that that's, that's been the focus. That's why, but yours is yours is unusual as much as there's a very, very early diversion via Malta.
Speaker 2 00:06:40 Yeah, no, let me, but then there were, there was sort of fallings out with the Irish side of the family. And my father's specific purpose was to, um, Lee is his father was dead. Uh, I suppose my mother's father, um, by the time they met. And, um, he very, it's, it's interesting because it links to what I was just saying that there were, there was this, um, grafted on if you're looking for your soul or your heritage in your mid teens. Most of us do. Um, there were three things that there was a sense of. There was a, there was a, was an Irish family on both sides, coincidentally from Southwest Ireland, from, from cork and Kerry, um, which, which, um, was just almost denied or forgotten. Um, there was a, a history that my father and mother had that was also similarly shut. And I had a brother who was put into hospital at the age of three, which was before I was born after it had a trial Sufjan birth and was severely, I'm going to say handicap, I don't want to say he never spoke.
Speaker 2 00:07:56 He never, um, and that's a long, that's a different story about a very tragic ending, but there was this whole, th the Englishness was part of something that was grafted on along with the disposal of what they used to call embassy was in those days to, to an asylum, uh, where he was never visited. Uh, and, and, and during my team, as I had this, um, revolutionary, if you want further in trying to uncover who I was, where I came from, um, uh, and almost like someone with gender problems, Y or gender, uh, whatever you wanna call them questions, um, why it was, I felt like such an exile in the situation I was being brought up in, which was an English middle-class, um, home. And part of that English middle-class home was my father being an army doctor and going out to Malter, um, where I was born, uh, in that he followed, um, my mother's father and great uncles footsteps in that they signed up and Kingstown done leery clunky standards.
Speaker 2 00:09:09 It was in 1916 and then went out to fight for the British, and one of them died. And one of her songs that are people's favorite song is about, um, is about them. So, um, it, it was all part of that. It wasn't an archaic because it was trying to bring question as, as Chomsky said, question the F all forms of authority to see if they're, whether they're legitimate and the authority that was also making me extremely depressed, um, had a, at a, uh, uh, associated societal part to it. And, uh, apart of denying a heritage and especially denying the existence on my brother, who I then went and discovered and, um, visited and took out and treated like a brother until he later died. Um, so it's, it's, it's an, it's a personal, a personal campaign that, that links up with, does that make sense?
Speaker 3 00:10:14 Yes. No. Um, I mean, in particular you use the term exiles, which is one that's come up on a number of occasions when talking to various interviewees here. I mean, how, how, how, how do you feel that, how do you feel that you were exiled
Speaker 2 00:10:30 The field? There's only one place in the world where there are three or four generations of Bowbridge is buried in that sensitive Finbar cemetery in core and standing there. I just dissolved, you know, uh, a sense of home, um, a sense of, of, and, and digging out what little paperwork there is. And, and, um, you know, discovering that my great-grandfather was a, was a plumber who worked, they lived and saw the houses and Patrick sale, and this, I was exiled from my hole, and that's where the music came in with me. I'd started playing the music, the Amish, traditional music. And in that I found a similar sense of home, uh, and, and an identity that I thought, yeah, it can be questioned in a sense, is that a constructed identity, but then I can answer that by saying no, because I went back and found the materials that it was constructed from, uh, long before I wanted to have it. And the authenticity to me lay in the, the original identity, the identity that was my heritage, and which I then went on to express culturally in, in plays and poems and stories, but always with a of, I'm not at home, um, I'm looking for a home and I find it, um, especially in Southern, I was, um, you know, and the, and the way that people respond to it. Um, sorry. Yeah, I hear you. I hear you, it in drawing in a breath.
Speaker 3 00:12:15 I know, I know it's, it's a thought that occurs, um, which is that, um, you, you say you found the paperwork and that you, you you're able to justify that, uh, that, that sense of identity, but what if you hadn't found the paperwork? What if it was simply a, an instinctive sense of this is where you felt that you
Speaker 2 00:12:33 That's a very difficult one, isn't it? Because that's what, that's, what made me when I, when I was in my early twenties, I had began a 15 year long relationship with the mother of two of my children. And youth came from Belfast, an extraordinarily strong sense of, of where she came from, who she was, um, and what was being done to that. Um, so without, um, going over and seeing my people and they were actually really rude to, um, um, but without that kind of documentary, um, well, this is where I was, this is where my family were and they, they were me a middle-class Protestant, Irish, but he did have troubles in the twenties with, with, you know, and, and, and there was a real history to, um, and, you know, when, you know, your, your granddad, your great uncle went up to enlist and sail off.
Speaker 2 00:13:38 And, and when everything was going on in Ireland, they were fighting so many, you know, it's a fascinating topic in itself that the RSU went off and fought for the British in the first world war. Um, uh, and the, some of the vitriol you get from the Irish side in historians is, is, is, is often well-balanced by historians who have much more take a much more even view of why this was happening and what the state was at the time. And of course, then you had the three stages and then the, the, um, the civil war, um, it was a, it was a terribly complicated business, but, you know, the family story is that we went over with the Normans and in the 12th century. And, um, and the old adage that the Irish Norman was woman, that woman not more Irish than the Irish.
Speaker 2 00:14:38 So there was that whole, you know, and the castles are all over the countryside. I don't know if you, if it, if you had to persist in, it would perhaps seem more like an adoption of identity. I've known thousands of people in Irish music do, um, and do it. It's fine. If you're good enough at the music and you play the music well enough. And with enough, um, sympathy, I think, I think you'll, you're welcomed, but I think, uh, to have a bedrock underneath that I could stand on and right. Standing on, um, these were my grandfathers. They weren't, these weren't people, seven generations back, um, it's a very close connection. Isn't that? Yes. And, and therefore, it's, it meant a lot to me to substantiate that
Speaker 1 00:15:38 You're listening to the plastic podcasts, tales of the Irish diaspora, find [email protected]
One of the curious aspects of these interviews is that they never go quite where you expected. I wanted to know more about Nick's relationship with his brother and how that fed into his own sense of identity.
Speaker 2 00:15:57 Well, that was the only first thing was packs of biscuits. Boxes of biscuits used to appear on the, on the stairs at Christmas address to a Richard Burbridge. And I didn't know who Richard Burbridge was. This was when I was very little. So he was, he would have been put in the hospital. Um, that's three or four years before I was born. My sisters knew him. Uh, but this is what happened in those days. Uh, people couldn't cope with, with, with children like him. Um, they work all the embassy deals. In fact, in that, what was the national health hospital? You go up to London on the red, on the side, right? Right-hand side is that big red brick near red Hill Earl's wood hospital. Um, big red brace now, Richard Branson bullshit, and turned it into luxury flats. And this, the NHS souls, the care of all the people in it, including the Queens cousins who were there, I'm gonna say it was a perfect place.
Speaker 2 00:17:00 So terrible abuses went on there, but it was a safe place. Um, and he ended up out in the community with four of his mates from the ward, but in an upstairs bedroom with a fire door. And when he had one of his epileptic fits, this is it, I've got it on a, on a computer, on a computer. So he's saying this move will kill my brother. Um, I want you to know that now, but there's nothing I can do about it. And within six weeks he had an epileptic fit behind this double and he was left from the morning until seven, the next morning, before the bloke was meant to be looking after him, private, uh, uh, health healthcare worker was asleep in the kitchen where the washing machine going around. So he didn't hear him was only on the hospital. There were a couple of nurses who'd be awake looking through this screen. And if Richard had one of his epileptic fits, they would be out, you know, within seconds. And he would, you know, be looked after taken to formal hospital and taken care of. So it's, um, he was both Incarcerated at the age of three, with huge male patients in swinging chairs, banging their fists in the air. And, and he ended up that was, that was the mode of dealing with people like that. Then whether local children went up and threw stones at the windows and shouted monkeys, and then the, the so-called care in the community, um, politics that came in, um, killed them. So these experiments in how to deal with much like how to, how to, how to examine, um,
Speaker 4 00:19:00 Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:19:00 And the face of, of, of expertise. I think probably for the most part, um, much as dealing with, with other mental health issues. I think that, um, uh, so yeah, it's, it's something that breaks my heart because he, the families were encouraged to put, put those people away and never see them because it would be too painful for them supposedly and too confusing for the child. But I know from my mother, my father went to see him once a few months after he was put in a and he supposedly didn't recognize him at all. And this guy, my father, the perfect, um, reason. I know that, um, to sort of do a little tie-in with 1977, when I first met my partner and have product of the time. And, um, we went to visit Richard and they had their annual fair elsewhere. They said, would we come along and play some Irish music, which we did?
Speaker 2 00:20:09 And my brother was just used to, when he got the very excited sort of bubbles used to come down and he used to get, he used to rub his hands. And there was something that he knew who I was, and he knew that we were performing and he was proud, all these things, I'm not projecting because they were all felt. And, and he was proud to be part of this little show that was going on and sitting there and such a rocking, but it was an extraordinary moment, absolutely extraordinary, but it, in the kind of sense of the unconscious legacy that families and generations share and, and that, that, that, that, that overcomes the what's imposed upon us. And that also takes us back to a sense of anarchy. Um, I worked voluntarily for, for the last 15 years in local nursery school. I haven't missed a morning until a lot.
Speaker 2 00:21:15 Um, and the most joyful and creative mornings there are when the, uh, school readiness has, is forgotten. And the formal teaching, um, structures that have become more and more in place have forgotten. And the teachers tend to be in the staff from the nursery nurses and the others, and there's this slow build up of creativity around and, and an energy that happens. Uh, it's, it's wonderful. That's the key to me and I here at work. And then, uh, I know, I think it works in families and, and it's what, um, it's not the structure, uh, and what's the structure that's forced on them as a families that, that gives them that can give them that, that creativity is the, um, it's what is naturally in, in the heart? Um,
Speaker 3 00:22:17 Yes.
Speaker 2 00:22:19 Sorry. I told you I digress. <inaudible>
Speaker 3 00:22:23 <inaudible> thank you so much. It's um, uh, ju just to give some context, uh, when was your brother born?
Speaker 2 00:22:32 Well, it was born in June. He was born, I think probably illegitimately the year after they came back from the, they met out in India where my father had gone as a doctor, a gone on out as a nurse. And, um, I think he was big, was born boxing day 46. So I'm not sure,
Speaker 3 00:22:54 Uh, 46. And he lived until, when
Speaker 2 00:22:57 He lived to 1997. So he lived, he was four. Um, no, it was 40. He was, he was just before he was 50. I was 46 weeks. Anyway, it was just before his 50th birthday died. So, yeah,
Speaker 3 00:23:11 That's just before indeed independent, isn't it? 46.
Speaker 2 00:23:14 Yes, yes, yes. It was all, it was all, um,
Speaker 3 00:23:17 You, you, you, you, you got to kind of, uh, I, this, this is another digression, really. I was going to G um, I, I was going to of point out that, uh, that your, your discovery, although you're reclaiming of those Irish roots to a certain extent is, um, is, uh, is a reclaiming of your brother as well. It's a, it's tried to overcome the denial that's involved in
Speaker 2 00:23:38 Well, and, and I'm not, blame is not a title. You can't, you can't blame people for the gut Jesus. I was immoral enough in my time,
Speaker 4 00:23:46 But it was also partly to do with my parents, having these pasts that they kept under the carpet, um, and S uh, not that along with the Irish legacy and along with my brother. And it was these sort of mainly these three elements that were seemed to me to be questionable and something that I needed to, to sort out, um, in order to find a workable identity, because I had been deeply depressed as an adolescent and, and very, very, uh, in exile, as I say, insensitive with a sense of exile,
Speaker 1 00:24:28 You could have gone either way, couldn't you, because you have a, you have a, a F a family history that was very much taken up with empire.
Speaker 4 00:24:33 Well, it's the same to me, the more authentic it was, this is what made my heart sing. And the other left me cold, utterly cold. And also since I, once I'd become involved with my first partner and her family, and what will happen to them as a result of the travels and so on, then that redoubled, that sense of, of, um, the music, the culture, the, um, what belonged in Ireland, as opposed to what was imposed again, um, from above
Speaker 1 00:25:13 <inaudible>, you're listening to the plastic podcasts, tales of the Irish diaspora. We all come from somewhere else. You can find and subscribe to [email protected]
Now it's time for the plastic pedestal, where I ask one of my guests to raise up a member of the diaspora, who they consider to be of personal or political or cultural significance this week actor, Paul Moriarty is on the horns of a dilemma.
Speaker 4 00:25:45 Well, it's very odd because I was part of the play reading by John <inaudible>, which was a kind of a play with music about Francis bacon. And I'd never thought of him was Irish put sort of 40 lip to the seller in Spain or the top of a castle in Italy or something. He was very much a separate kind of person, but then the player found out that in fact, he liked to go drinking of the being of this weird, well, he had habitats slashing this paint on this anger, uh, gage the Catholic church a little bit. Uh, and then when he got bored of doing that, he'd take everybody out to the casino because he just like actors. He wanted the passion to keep going to the night. He didn't want to stop. Uh, and when I was over at Dublin and one of the art galleries, they've done his whole studio exactly the way it was with photographs, and it is a complete mess and a nightmare.
Speaker 4 00:26:52 So we paint some Cognose, cloths and things all over the place and the turmoil of this man's mind. So I thought this isn't really what I think of as an Irishman. And so I, uh, I opted for my father who was known as big Jim. Uh, he was, uh, as I say, it was in the merchant Navy, and he was also a Stoker on oil carrying ships, which was, you know, very perilous, dangerous job going backwards and forwards across the Atlantic, uh, with the German U boats and what have you. And, uh, he was a very powerful man, partly from shoveling coal.
Speaker 4 00:27:30 And he was known then, uh, around town, uh, big, quite a boxer. And goodness knows what, and also for mixing with some dicey friends, he was going to beat my mother, uh, to go to the pictures. And they were standing outside a book where the main defense, and he was looking at this overcoat and his mates that is so huge. If that suits you down for the rest, you'd look wonderful. When he going to make me, he said, yeah, yeah, I, to be great, but look at the price. So just a minute, this black Kenny disappeared and he appears in the window and he's taken the quick off, down the road. So he was part of this rich, interesting group of people. And I just regret that I didn't, uh, have more to do with him, but he want to think that he used to travel miles just to come and see me play on it, take bunches of us out afterwards, and we'd be drinking and chatting.
Speaker 4 00:28:32 And at university he'd, he'd go out with the lectures. And I used to be dreading it because I thought, you know, and they loved it. Everybody loved it. It was the, uh, the wild colonial boy in spite of, uh, thinking that now he was English, but he wasn't, he was Irish, Irish through and through. Uh, and he drank and he smoked and he finally gave them both up. And, uh, he just went boom, at the age of 58. And the doctor said to me, he said it, the damage was already done and cut me off everything so quickly was probably too much for his system. But while he was around, uh, it was never a dull. And he bought a pink punchy as an 18 year old para, but he was the sweetest man. And he used to look after all the aunts and take stuff for them and men things for them.
Speaker 4 00:29:23 And goodness knows what you say. All us kids. He had a van when he was in the glass trade, uh, packed us all in the backup would all go off to a showroom or Lansing sandwiches on the beach and everybody having a great time. And then we'd stop at a pub on the way back. And all the kids would be left in the bandwidth, Christian orange juice. And what have you, while Leo grownups stayed there for an hour or two? I was, uh, of course the number of people drink driving in those days was immense. And he was once when he was a salesman, he was quite smart. He also dress yourself up. So you look kind of superior and he was done for speeding, and they were gonna take his license away from him. And he got up in court child, but judge, you're not such a bad fellow, Jim. And I realize your work depends on it. And I'd got done. I think I was about seven years old just to be supportive. And we went to the public store to see his solicitor. And the solicitor said, Jim, that judge didn't love you. Didn't he? You lucky, sad. And they were pleased with it. Well, you got away with that, mate.
Speaker 4 00:30:36 People just loved it. Unfortunately the drink did start to get the better and he became quite the liability. I persuaded him to go to AA and he went and I used to go with him occasionally. And that became his addiction. AA was the addiction. So it was changed. He became, I think, ultimately English at the end, quiet man. Um, very sober, very polite and does wild the Irish in Ireland. They've gone
Speaker 1 00:31:13 Paul Moriarty there on his father. Big Jim. Now back to our conversation with Nick Burbridge, Nick has had two books published, focusing on Northern Ireland. And I asked you about the first of these operation.
Speaker 4 00:31:25 Oh, I'll probably on the front, the thriller. That was the one novel that I didn't, that was the kind of novel under a pseudonym that she wrote up through a pseudonym. I did because it was, it was, um, I worked on it with my brother in common law who lived in Portadown, um, or the silver is important. Uh, and he had, he loved talking and he had, uh, an initial story he wanted to tell, but he couldn't, he didn't have it in him to tell it, um, fully inarticulately though. He was full of ideas. And so he had an input in that part as well, but then he was a GD psychiatrist. He went into the H box and then a Protestant who married to a Catholic, uh, an interesting offshoot of that main family who were about fast Catholics. And so he was the married to my partner's sister. And so we got this, but I was at the time trying to get my novel published with Michael Joseph through an agent. And, and she, she, she sent the six publishers who said, unless I would do what they wanted me to do on this other neutrally novel, it wasn't going to get published.
Speaker 5 00:32:40 So, but then I said, well, I've got this. And she got that published within a month with Pluto. Left-wing, um, we're going to produce these pink thrillers. They called them. Um, and they went bust, typically my effect on, on institutions. It felt so challenging, but Pluto did a, how I'd written a second novel. It's going to publish, undermine name about the 2nd of June, uh, part the mine off, um, green type stuff in Germany. And, um, but it's been very interesting in the current light because we, we actually had, although it wasn't true, we had this old in general, um, uni general thinking he was going into on lacing. The cutlery with crates full Krikes, fell, Jakob disease.
Speaker 6 00:33:34 Yeah. And
Speaker 5 00:33:35 Thinking he was doing this. And so that you wouldn't be able to tell, and all the politicians would go mad. The place, the Americans, it was all American American needed a neutral Ireland. And it was good, quite a complex and quite interesting club. You wonder now who went in and laced, the cutlery and the houses of parliament a few months ago, they're all acting like my cows, but yeah, no, we worked, we worked with that came, that came out from Pluto and, and there's, uh, there was a wonderful thing on a, on a, on a news cast early in the morning, whether these costumers in Tehran talking about what was going on there, and I'll know you young, the bookstand behind him was a whole batch of operation. Unreal. Wonderful. But it didn't, it didn't, you know, they, they went bust and that was the end of that.
Speaker 6 00:34:28 But you wrote under the pseudonym, we never kind of got round to
Speaker 5 00:34:31 Dominate the carton. The carton was the name of the family. Two of them probably there's unfortunately, Peter McCarten, who was in it had, if you read Howard Howard marks his book high times, there was some very strange thing with a man called Jim McCann got marks over it to do with raising funds. And you Peter would through sort of petrol bombs at Queens university. Uh, it was to do with making some kind of, uh, I dunno, you'd have to read the book. And Peter went into Crumlin road for it. And I don't know what happened to him in there, but he was bipolar anyway, but he was writing wonderful articles for the observer about what was going on in, in, in, in, on, under the time. And, but he then became very ill and they came over to England. The, the, the, the children predominantly her father came up to London, mother stayed in Belfast for a while, but they were in the Woodstock road in area of Belfast in the middle of the Protestant enclave.
Speaker 5 00:35:35 So, um, both of them, the mother and my partner at different times rode their bicycles defiantly through the wrong areas. And we're both really beaten up by crowds of women as a result. My partner had U D carved into her forearm. Um, so this family were there at the middle of the children were sent over one by one, and then the family itself moved from Belfast, uh, over to this country. But Peter had by then become so ill. He went and hanged himself in Egypt. Um, and his younger brother talked about punks. I wish I did that. Sunday times did an article about the cordon three Musketeers. There was one who I wrote a song called dirty Davey, that the level is way big. Um, w he was one, he, he had himself with his underpants in, uh, in a police selling Margo on a bank holiday.
Speaker 5 00:36:33 I don't know what had happened to him, all being done, him, Irish, Adrian, who was the younger brother of, you know, in the McCarter's jumped off a block of flats in home ninth floor. He, this was all within six months. Um, and Anthony survived. He then died two years later. So all three brothers that family was, um, incredibly embroiled in, in, in, in the troubles, but in animals, in such a human way, I mean, what was he doing? He wasn't setting a bone. He was throwing a couple of petrol bombs against the walls, a queen university at Queens university, in order for Jim McCann to get money out of Howard marks. That's the kind of thing that happens, but it's not, it's not predictable and it's not. Um, and, and so it was, I mean, Anthony, you know, I was already into the music, but Ansley's purity and his, his, his, um, his, uh, his sisters bloke, coughy, McCulloch played the whistle on, on, uh, on a song called the men behind the wire.
Speaker 3 00:37:40 If, if, if I may speaking of speaking of this, um, uh, because obviously you then went into a kind of almost whistleblowing yourself with regards to you and Fred Holroyd doing well. Would that honor? Yeah. Well, I met
Speaker 5 00:37:52 Again, I'm at Fred backstage at a labor party fringe thing. And the top rank Fred hauling was a, was an, it was a died in the world. Yorkshireman always wanted to be in the army, led into the engineers and then decided, uh, military intelligence came and gave a talk and said, we need military intelligence officers in Northern Ireland. I said, this is the, this is the most, this is the best job a soldier could be doing at the moment. So he enlisted and the minute he had enlisted, he realized he'd made a mistake or the wording around Ashford, uh, where they used to do Canterbury, where they used to do all their exercises, um, uh, you know, surveillance and being, being watched. And so, uh, but he then went over to Alta, but he was very, very good at what he did. Um, and, and, you know, and walking through.
Speaker 5 00:38:44 And while I was so interested, because it was important down around Arma Logan and so on. And he used to, you know, walk up and down the streets and pull it down in an hour and sweat and saying hi to people. And because he'd been taught that the more, uh, outrageous you are as an intelligence officer, and the more risks you take, the better and internet, which it was proved to no rocket proved to, until he went across with Glenn one night and took it too far alongside Fred Colin Wilson, who worked with, with intelligence from their headquarters in Lisbon, and who were also heavily involved in clockwork orange, which was the undermining of the Wilson government and saying Wilson was a Russian agent and so on and so forth. Colin Wilson was also, and there when Colin Wilson step too far, he was local again, strange coincidence locally.
Speaker 5 00:39:40 And this was a, this has now been admitted, framed for what they call this, their knockout murder, where he was supposedly managed to get away from a party karate shot this man much bigger than himself, throw him in the river and then get back to this party all within 10 minutes when he was put in jail for many years. And he was finally pardoned and given 150 grand, this was a lot of money when, you know, w how many years ago it was. But Fred heard about him, went into the, went to visit him in jail and started talking about stuff that he knew. And then they were pulling their resources. When I met Fred, the book was going to be who framed Colin Wallace, Paul foot's book, where they were both going to put their stuff in one book. So I said to Fred, well, why don't we try?
Speaker 5 00:40:26 And so I then went to the agent and the publisher that I was working with, and they got higher-ups immediately took it up the Fred's book, friends material as a follow-up to the stalker book, which had just caused huge ructions and sold 70, 80,000 hardback off. You know, so we just thought, wow, but just before publication, it wasn't the Dino's use committee. There's a, there's this, someone wrote in the London review and the guardian Mancha, and the guard said, well, what more can you do about faccia? What more can you do to upset a woman? It says this, this, this, this, this, but not a sign of a Dino does committee quashing the book, because the way they did it was to deny that anything Fred said was other than the product of his own fertile imagination. The fact that he'd had to be cast out of the North for mental instability.
Speaker 5 00:41:19 Now, Fred had been under great stress, but he'd also gone down to Dublin without against orders to make a visit that won't go again, won't go into detail as well. Um, and he was acting a bit, bit like a Maverick, but getting great results, um, uh, whether it was the, the self exploding, you know, the, the, the, the, there was another of his stories that, that has not been doubted was that the, um, he and I, you see officer that he, then they were their sourced tip them off, uh, as to where a, uh, Bulla bombards were hidden in a grave kill Wilkie grave. They went there. Um, they removed, um, the, the farm, the firing pins with tight tinker with they put back this young lad was told to tighten down South, um, and the, as he strapped them to the side of his motorcycle, and the roadblock was set up to block him at the border.
Speaker 5 00:42:28 He's turned around round swerved back at high speed, and the bombard exploded, and the British army will watch you from the fields and they knew what was gonna happen. And, uh, you know, you may need to want the sense of this, but one of them came up and in the garage at a garage where this, uh, explosion happens and that's an end to another view faster. So it was, these were the kinds of things that Fred was blowing the whistle on. They weren't minor, you know, and Wilson, Wilson was blowing the condom. Wilson was blowing that much more significant political stuff. So Katelyn Mason made a speech on Fred's stuff, but people didn't believe them. Tom DL interviewed him for three hours and let it drop. And then w uh, um, Livingston asked statue at PMQ. Um, would you read this book as a matter of, of the DARPA of what without honor, as a matter of national, uh, importance or whatever.
Speaker 5 00:43:29 And she just said, no, that was the one was, was, but Tom DL then took it up and, and, and stood up in parliament. And I was one of them, the fact that people who had taken Fred seriously and exposed the book Hara unfortunately, um, went bust. Uh, they couldn't bring the book out. So he'd only came out from a small publisher, whole publisher, lots of misprints. And in the meantime, though, I've ghost written the book, you know, Fred had stuck some extra bits in there, but fair enough, it was, it still, it still contained what it needs to contain, but it didn't get half the publicity. It should have done had it come out after the stalker, by haircuts, you know, big, uh, well welcome. But we launched, it was launched at the house of commons and, and, um, uh, McNamara was at McNamara that ministers, anyway, I can't remember, but a lot of people spoke limits and spoke.
Speaker 5 00:44:22 And, um, but what, how they dealt with it was to try and sideline from which they did reasonably successfully over the next few years. And since then, for, instead of Lyme, he's had a couple of heart attacks and he's not very well, but he said about, and he's still interested in this stuff. And people go to him from all over the world. There's a source about this material. And what is, what is his stuff was much more explosive politically, because he could prove that the dissemination of information against the government, but Tom DOL said, this goes of all our book. This goes to government at the very top. In other words, these things could not have happened without the sanction of a war cabinet.
Speaker 1 00:45:07 <inaudible>, you're listening to the plastic podcasts, tales of the Irish diaspora. We all come from somewhere else. It's been a convoluted, but fascinating discussion with Nick Burbridge. And for now we wrap up with thoughts of home. First of all, though, we discussed yet another tale from Fred Holroyd,
Speaker 5 00:45:31 But I'll never forget listening to Fred tele again. Well, interesting. What, what got my particular kind of brain, um, moving was backstage in the dressing room. When, when Fred was talking about, he was talking about, uh, getting information about the chalet bar and put a voucher, being rebuilt, blown up so many times, I didn't know why they wanted to rebuild it, but he had got some green, green berries to surround, you know, with a ready to pick off the, whoever was going to set the poem. And it's that little, most truth. This is Francis <inaudible> come out of the bar and had the shits HD's way between the car park, the corrugated iron sheets, and pull these trousers down and wasn't as hungry. Then couldn't find anything to live for herself with a funding round and lit a match. See if he could find her at which point, one of them in a poem on I'll characterize him as someone from Carter.
Speaker 5 00:46:44 One of the soldiers lost his and started cheating shells ricocheting across this bar, over this man's head. And afterwards, by, by he must've prayed to the, to the Holy mother because afterwards he was still there when Frank came to stop stealing. So he came up with a torch and shown it on the pan and he was still there squatting. And he, and I know, and he had been unharmed and it was the kind of darkness in the story, but the fact that it was told it was told with that. I wish it could only happen in basically it was. Um, and, and then the poem, I make a point of the hatred that the old man is looking at him with gratitude, that obviously you have a bit, but just cheer, um, hatred, or what are you doing in my country?
Speaker 3 00:47:48 You talk about how, um, this kind of thing as if it was not just like your, your, your own, um, regard to what, what took place during the troubles and so forth, but also your own creativity. And what way would you say that's that that's kind of, uh, affected it?
Speaker 5 00:48:04 Obviously my partner and, and what, what it did, what, what had happened to her and the effect that had on me and other details of it and, and, and the family that, um, put into relief, because my people like so many in the South, you'd give a cuss what we've got on that note, you know, they, they got what they wanted and, and, and that led me to interrogate that attitude. Um, uh, but it was, it was the rich, this is the wrong word. It was the Oregon authenticity. It was the, it was the, um, extreme nature. And the, also the humor that it all comes back to that sense of exile and home. And this is their home. This was their home. And I've always written about home, I think, more than anything. And so it just, it just was a whole play that never got put on.
Speaker 5 00:49:06 It was going to be at the Riverside if I couldn't fund it. But I didn't know that I think I'll was that one that your, your friend was, we'd put it on down in Brighton and the end of, with the toilet Graham Duffin, who's done all that he's done since, you know, huge, bigger. Yeah. And, and, and, um, he, um, and luckily we sent him out to pester the crowd because the queues before they were coming in, they was about homeless. Again, my ex did it, this wonderful publicity child. So it was on the telly. It was all over the place. And he, I sent him out to kind of hassle people that he got beaten up by an actual, in the process of methadone, outside the old pavilion. And then we didn't fact me for that, but I, I didn't know how to direct them.
Speaker 5 00:49:52 They were Tony Wiles was the main wonderful, old, bright. Now that if you ever came across him, he played a lot in the fringe, but he was a classical, beautiful, wonderful verbal delivery. And he played the old man in it. And, um, and, uh, I didn't, I didn't, uh, how to, to direct a tool, but the whole play was about a deeper sense of what is home and what is not home. So it was, it was sold as a play about homelessness, but it was all about what makes, you know, in the profound sense, what's like Ludo or being at home with your, what, what takes you home. And, and that's what the most, but at the heart of most of my songs, whether it's about having children or whether it's about politics or whatever, it's about both the longing for, and the competing against others for home, so that you have a right to call and that's that go through sexual politics.
Speaker 5 00:50:52 He didn't, no one has a right to violate your home as a woman sexually, you know, this is your home. And, and, and, and, and no one has the right to break in, and there should be no excuses or, or it seems to me the most kind of profound, um, and you know, the afterlife, it's all pictured as a home isn't there or not what the case might be. So it's that, um, I, my brother being cast out of his home for supposedly, and then cast out of what became his home for 50 odd years and dying in what looked like a suburban house with a television Eaton, or what television was he never and dying locked in a, it's a very, to me, that sort of most profound, um, issue. And now I live in the family home where six of us used to live because I'm strong enough to function through leaving it. Um, so I live in what we used to be is big enough for six people. I remained in this family home alone, basically last four or five years. So it's, uh, it's, it's something that I'm obsessed about. I think, I think depression is, is spiritual homelessness. If you want to kind of put a definition on it,
Speaker 7 00:52:26 You've been listening to the plastic podcasts with me, Doug Nevada, and my guest, Nick Burbidge, the plastic pedestal was provided by <inaudible> music like Jack, that you can find [email protected]
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