The Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act (Northern Ireland) 1922,

Official flag of Ulster until 1973

It is often referred to simply as the Special Powers Act. It was an Act passed by the Parliament of Northern Ireland shortly after the establishment of Northern Ireland, and in the context of violent conflict over the issue of the partition of Ireland.

This was in place until 1973, empowering officials of HM government to behave differently toward its citizens in Northern Ireland than it would in England. It’s good to review how that worked. It sounds like something we’d read, coming out of Washington DC in March 2021 – and of course the US Supreme Court would go along with it, because that’s how they roll these days.

(1) Arrest without warrant

(2) Imprison without charge or trial and deny recourse to habeus corpus or a court of law.

(3) Enter and search homes without warrant, and with force, at any hour of the day or night.

(4) Declare a curfew and prohibit meetings, assemblies (including fairs or markets) and processions.

(5) Permit punishment by flogging.

(6) Deny claim to a trial by jury.

(7) Arrest persons it is desired to examine as witnesses, forcibly detain the and compel them to answer questions, under penalties, even if answers may incriminate them. Such a person is guilty of an offense if he refuses to be sworn or to answer a question.

(8) Do any act involving interference with the rights of private property.

(9) Prevent access of relatives or legal advisers to a person imprisoned without trial.

(10) Prohibit the holding of an inquest after a prisoner’s death.

(11) Arrest a person who “by word of mouth” spreads false reports or makes false statements.

(12) Prohibit the circulation of any newspaper.

(13) Prohibit the possession of any film or gramophone record.

(14) Arrest a person who does anything “calculated to be prejudicial to the preservation of the peace or maintenance of order in Northern Ireland and not specifically provided for in the regulations.”

Traditional Flag of Ulster

Comments: The provisions of the Act underscore why the Bill of Rights were added to the US Constitution. It’s all the more interesting in the context of 2020/21, with the US Government’s efforts to erode the Bill of Rights.

One of the strangest sights, at least to my young eyes, were the neighborhood patrols that were undertaken by the various British regiments that were sent to Northern Ireland. It would be a completely normal scene one moment, and then you’d see the Paras, or the Royal Commandos or the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders move through. People became accustomed to it in Belfast, Londonderry, Antrim, etc.

Studying the history of recent civil wars/conflicts requires a study of the extent to which military occupation reached desired goals. There was a lot of planned political kidnapping undertaken by HM Government. You could call them “arrests”, but the interrogations would qualify as torture, there was no judicial review, and people could be held indefinitely. That qualifies as kidnapping. In light of current trends and moves, it could happen in the US today. One might have written that off as a conspiracy theory five years ago, but today?

Making the case for “special powers” during an “insurrection” is the current stock in trade for our betters/rulers.

Make of it what you will.


  1. To work off of what Jim said…

    Being let into the Capital Building: INSURRECTION!!!!

    Repeatedly setting a Federal courthouse on fire: Peaceful protest.

  2. We’re being played way beyond Nov. 3rd and Jan. 6th, even if the Dem’s are making it up as they go along setting up the right conditions for The Hologram-in-Chief to sign a “Special Powers” EO overriding the Constitution, making half of us criminals.

    They’ll have to kill me on the spot before I go with them for a banana republic style “chat”, even if it means getting a ride in one of those cool street tanks.

    • Once you’re backed into a corner and have nothing left to lose, then you fire a shot heard round the world. I’d like to think that the donkeys aren’t that stupid, but they’re not showing me that they have the moral fiber of a slug. They’re just opportunist thugs who feel they’ve been made king of the world – rather than representatives and public servants.

      • Levin mentioned something today I hadn’t thought of as a tactical move; the Dem’s “crisis/insurrection at any moment cage” around the Capitol offers them carte blanche to do whatever the hell they want without public oversight or comment, with a bonus of easily hiding The Green-Screen Hologram.

  3. Governments do what they want. They NEVER allow ink on paper to interfere either plans. They only pay lip service to any legal constraints or to the will of those they rule. Politics and government invariably draw the worst members of society. The venal, the greedy, those who lust for power over others. People who refuse to be held accountable.
    Which is why, with rare exceptions, all governments collapse and are replaced. Sadly the replacement is rarely better than the original. We are witnessing that phenomenon here, now. So a new version of “The Special Powers Act” will almost certainly be foisted onto us….for our own good of course. Such regulations are a logical part of the path to tyranny.

    • You wouldn’t want them to let a perfectly good crisis go to waste, would you? They really need special powers if they’re to deal with the vast right wing conspiracy by deplorables in fly-over country.

  4. Seeing as one of my troll commenters has turned me into Homeland Security (so he says), I may be the one firing a shot heard round the world. Bwwwwwaaaaaaaaahaaaaaa. Like HS gives a rat’s ass what I’m doing or saying in North Idaho. Did that fool actually think that was a threat and I should be concerned?

    • It might be useful for you to denounce the trolls, in turn, as double agent provocateurs. See if you can get a bounty on them.

  5. Second photo,soldier on the left has an interesting sling setup.Is that to prevent it from being snatched. I can’t say I’ve ever seen that before.

    • First one has the sling dismounted from the front swivel, like the one Klaus mentions, and one end of the sling seems to be run around the front of the butt stock maybe. Maybe L-L saw some of those arrangements when he was around and about that and could comment???????

      • I’m not a fan. It loops and attaches between the stock and the grip. The SLR is a long, heavy beast of a weapon and you can sling it on a shoulder in a one-point configuration and that’s what this is done for…but it’s awkward because of the geometry of the rifle.

  6. Chilling, and I remember (I was v young) people who knew about it saying the whole thing could’ve been wrapped up quickly, given force and willpower. I’m pretty sure they were right. To see the paradigm moved here, in the interest of Red crooks, is another matter again.

    I’d say they’re gambling on many things, not least the goodwill and perhaps indifference of the American people. Dangerous bet, what?

    • Force didn’t work in NI. Rapprochement worked, trust was developed. Both sides preferred peace to war. A lot of blood and treasure was spent to learn that.

  7. There about to try and ramrod a whole new slate of additional anti-gun laws through here in Rhode Island, this afternoon. Public comment and testimony has been stifled by essentially impossible rules; the whole thing is being done by telephone…

    Among other outrages, one bill calls for a requirement to sign a medical records release to the government, in order to purchase a gun. HIPAA for me, but not for thee..

    I wish the dang End of America had waited until we were the hell out of this dump.

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