- Perhaps surprisingly, Henry describes his childhood in the Markets, even in the middle of the Troubles, as "idyllic". In his teenage years, he joined the Official IRA, which preached some Marxist mumbo-jumbo and which favoured a Moscow-style Marxist workers' paradise and which was powerful in the Markets.
- He has come some long way since then, making a journey a few other Belfast nationalists have made, usually via the now-defunct official republican movement. Gradually they dissociated themselves from most of the trappings of republicanism before they, in a similar series of ideological ecdyses, shed the various layers of Marxist epidermis. As a group, they now tend to be pro-American free marketers, and like Henry, supported the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Colours is also cited by former BBC journalist Paul Larkin:
- On page 165 of Colours, McDonald confirms that he was once a member of the Irish GDR Friendship Society. The GDR was the former state socialist bloc in what is now the eastern part of Germany, whose Stasi secret police spied on its own populace and provided refuge to OIRA counterfeiters and gunmen.