"A Very British Jihad" Book Discussion

Updated on July 31, 2019
Seven Stars Media profile image

The author is a QUB Political Science honours graduate, a political analyst and has written on a variety of related issues.

A Very British Jihad: Collusion, Conspiracy and Cover-up in Northern Ireland
A Very British Jihad: Collusion, Conspiracy and Cover-up in Northern Ireland

Collusion, Conspiracy, and Cover-up in Northern Ireland

Now available on Kindle, A Very British Jihad: Collusion, Conspiracy, and Cover-up in Northern Ireland still ranks as one of the best ever exposés of state-sponsored murder available on the market. It is written by award-winning journalist and producer Paul Larkin, a former producer of the BBC Northern Ireland's BAFTA-winning Spotlight current affairs program. A Very British Jihad is 300-odd pages of compulsive reading for anyone with even the most casual interest in Irish affairs. The author comes across as a decent, honest human being whose role as truthseeker led him to some very dark and sinister places within the British colonial establishment's so-called counter-terrorism community. The title refers to the undercover war fought with almost religious zeal by the British occupational forces in Ireland and their loyalist allies.

Anne Cadwallader's excellent Lethal Allies: British Collusion in Ireland and documentaries such as Unquiet Graves and No Stone Left Unturned which copper-fasten the modus operandi of state-sponsored murder in the North of Ireland, Dublin and Monaghan, deal with and build on much of the subject matter Larkin introduced in A Very British Jihad 20 years previously.

A Very British Jihad delves into a murky world of spooks, agents, Loyalist bosses and sectarian murder, where the blurred edges of their dubious morality were refracted by much smoke and splintered mirrors. Its 22 chapters surpass anything thrown up in Martin Dillon's The Dirty War, which merely hints at collusion in a very timid fashion. Paul Larkin builds a much more solid construct of British state-collusion in sectarian murder, which compliments and even surpasses Sean McPhelimy's groundbreaking The Committee. Although effectively banned in the UK, McPhelimy's book may well be available at online booksellers such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble in the USA.

The British Jihadists

Loyalist godfather & sectarian serial killer sharing a stage with DUP's William McCrea, MP (now Lord Magherafelt)
Loyalist godfather & sectarian serial killer sharing a stage with DUP's William McCrea, MP (now Lord Magherafelt)
Joint UDA & British Army patrol, Belfast
Joint UDA & British Army patrol, Belfast

Kitson's Counter-Gangs

Larkin begins his book with his arrival on the Belfast political journalistic scene, where he meets his first Loyalist/military contact, the closet homosexual taxi driver and shady former UDR soldier called Howard. Literally before the author even exits the cab he had hailed from the city's Central station, the part-time UDR taxi-driver seems to know that he is on his way to interview a leading Irish Republican activist, strongly suggesting that it may have been more than a random pick-up.

In the following chapters, Larkin interviews the late Billy 'King Rat' Wright, a notorious loyalist serial murderer, and British Military intelligence and RUC Special Branch agent who was spectacularly assassinated by an elite INLA unit within Long Kesh, Europe's most secure prison in 1997. The author describes King Rat's lair's decor as ultra-camp, yet fortress-like nestled in the heart of loyalist Portadown. As Larkin narrates, readers are left in no doubt that Wright was the epitome of the British Jihadist.

The author meets a brace of assorted Unionist paramilitaries, spies, touts, slimy Special Branch men, Official IRA men, South African Apartheid-era hit-men and bizarrely, the UDR on 'peacekeeping' duty in Bosnia, plus many other assorted and often unsavory characters. Even the most streetwise and politically savvy readers will feel like they have sampled a parallel world, where the lights are constantly dimmed and there are no friendly welcomes for the likes of us or anyone else to the Left of Eugene Terreblanche.

Censorship, Collusion and Murder

Martin O'Hagan, investigative reporter for the Sunday World, was murdered in September 2001 by the remnants of Billy Wright's LVF gang in alleged collusion with RUC Special Branch
Martin O'Hagan, investigative reporter for the Sunday World, was murdered in September 2001 by the remnants of Billy Wright's LVF gang in alleged collusion with RUC Special Branch

Collusion Was Systemic

The chapter A Very Fine Soldier deals with British infantryman Cameron Hastie's trial for involvement in a state-sponsored murder conspiracy and his subsequent unduly lenient sentence. Larkin devotes several chapters to pro-British death squad boss, the late Billy 'King Rat' Wright.

The late Marty O'Hagan, the Sunday World journalist assassinated by Billy Wright's LVF counter-gang, gets numerous positive mentions in Larkin's book. The author reveals how Jim McDowell, the Northern editor of the Sunday World who has close links to the RUC/PSNI's shadowy Special Branch, effectively handed several pages of the Northern edition over to the then mid-Ulster UVF and Billy Wright, to clarify their threats against his exiled colleague, Martin O'Hagan.

These dubious actions by McDowell were doubly ironic, as the late Martin O'Hagan, The Sunday World's security specialist, read of Billy Wright's Mid-Ulster UVF's 'clarification' in his own newspaper, while he was in hiding in Cork under threat from Wright's paramilitary gang. O'Hagan passed Wright's Special Branch codename to Larkin and it is exclusively disclosed in his book as 'Bertie'.

Another chapter, Sticking to Their Guns, deals with the Workers Party's then not so secret links to the Official IRA. Sticks or Stickies is a nickname for the Official IRA, as following the split within the IRA, resulting in the emergence of the Provisionals, the Official faction opted for sticky-backed Easter Lillies, as opposed to the traditional pin fastened Lillies worn during Easter Rising commemorations. Larkin narrates of a very close shave with an already media angered Official IRA supporters during an encounter at their, Twinbrook social club, well known for its liberal opening times. Unfortunately, the club suffered a serious fire in later years, although thankfully it was said to be very well insured.

First edition hard copies of Paul Larkin's excellent expose A Very British Jihad was retailing at one time for between £60 to £80 used on Amazon, presumably, this meteoric rise in value from its original retail price of £10.99 is because it had gone out of print. A Very British Jihad is now available at less extortionate prices of around $8 for the Kindle version. Anyone who has a hard copy should treasure it as it is an invaluable insight into the Kitsonian collusion model that few of us get to understand concisely.

Readers are left in no doubt that all Republicans and numerous apolitical Catholics were targeted by a British state-sponsored murder machine. All it took was a name to be entered into the 'system' on the most spurious of suspicions at a British military checkpoint or a sighting in the supposed 'wrong company', for the gears of a Kitsonian state-sponsored murder-machine to rotate into action. In the not too distant past, many people only knew they had been included in that murderous 'project' when it was much too late and the state-sponsored Loyalist murder gangs had departed, leaving splintered door-frames, shattered lives and an RUC Special Branch cleared 'run-back' for the UVF, UDA or UDR death-squad

In conclusion, A Very British Jihad should be compulsory reading for anyone wishing to scratch beneath the surface of 'authorized' and revisionist versions of the period of Anglo-Irish conflict popularly known as 'The Troubles'. Larkin's book exposes the British counter-insurgency 'jihadists', which the establishment unleashed in post-1969 Ireland and leaves the reader in no doubt of their hidden hand in a plethora of Loyalist paramilitary assassinations, bombings and even murder bids on the British Left.

A Very British Jihad took over where  Sean McPhilemy's The Committee left off
A Very British Jihad took over where Sean McPhilemy's The Committee left off

© 2019 Liam A Ryan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, soapboxie.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)