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The Irish Left Archive: Workers Weekly,Workers Association, British and Irish Communist Organisation, July 1974 November 24, 2008

Posted by irishonlineleftarchive in British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO), Irish Left Online Document Archive.
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As mentioned a couple of weeks back on this thread, here is Workers Weekly, a publication of the Workers Association, also of the British and Irish Communist Organisation. This dates from July 1974.

I have a few more of these which I will post up in future months, but I think this gives an useful insight into the political position of BICO during the early 1970s. Worth noting their stance as regards the UDA and the SDLP in the aftermath of Sunningdale. Worth noting also the following sentence… ‘Granted that Catholics are not likely to be voting for out and out unionists in the near future, the Loyalists have at least attempt [sic] to get through to the SDLP, if only make it clear to all concerned (including the Catholics) that it is only their inability to get rid of their aspirations that is standing in the way of a peaceful settlement’.

They appear entirely antagonistic to a Council of Ireland and dismissive of internment and its pernicious impact on Nationalists in the North. Or how about the following? “The Civil Rights agitation itself was an attempt to divert attention away from the need for the Catholic community to drop its anti-partitionism and integrate fully into society in Northern Ireland. Instead of facing up to the fact that their isolation from society was due to their leaders continually campaigning for destruction of the state, they insisted on blaming the ‘other side’ and attributing their (largely self-imposed) isolation solely to ‘Unionist bigotry’.”

Or what of this attitude to Irish culture? ‘ As socialists, we have always imagined that everyone would be better off under socialism, which would be even more efficiently organized on an even larger scale than capitalism. If however socialism means confinement in a tight little turf-powered economy with everybody speaking a language that is of merely antiquarian interest to the rest of Europe, then we’ll be quite happy to settle for capitalism (and for that matter, ‘imperialism’), until something better comes along.’

I leave it for your consideration.

For a further interesting – if subjective – analysis of BICO this is worth a visit.

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Comments»

1. Neues aus den Archiven der radikalen Linken - eine Auswahl « Entdinglichung - November 24, 2008

[...] * British and Irish Communist Organisation (BICO): Workers Weekly, 27.07. 1974 [...]

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2. CL - November 24, 2008

Sounds again like Bill Warren and the progressive role of imperialism.

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3. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

This document, reading what they produce today, is amazing. Actually, it’s that reactionary and dictatorial in relation to the rights of the political aspirations of non-unionists, that it’s scarcely credible anyway.

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4. entdinglichung - November 24, 2008

has the BICO ever attracted loyalist workers?

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5. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

Not in any significant numbers I don’t think, though it wouldn’t suprise me if around this time they were engaged in discussions with the more left-wing elements of the loyalist paramilitaries, and organisations like the Loyalist Association of Workers (which in 1974 were undoubtedly disparate mass movements).

I meant to note the bit about Russian imperialism in the document. Loyalism meets Maoism. You gotta love it.

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6. Tim Von Bondie - November 24, 2008

The Workers Association for a Democratic Settlement in Northern Ireland was a BICO front and Brendan Clifford et al were at its core, but it contained broader numbers than them. Jim Kemmy was the Limerick contact, if I’m not mistaken, Pat Muldowney at Coleraine, Paul Bew and Henry Patterson, Jeff Dudgeon etc. The collection of bulletins produced during the UWC strike were published as a pamphlet I think.

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7. Jim Monaghan - November 24, 2008

The BICO were then Stalinist rather than Maoist. A slight difference.
The Socialist Party of Ireland (A stick split, Rathigan et al I think) More pro-Moscow I think.
Kemmy, not sure. Kemmy wing of the merged group were I believe fairly democratic. Sympahtisers in say RTE and the unions did not witchhunt like the Sticks. Comrades of mine in Limerick PD always had a soft spot for Kemmy, regarding him as a decent person with legitimate disagreements with them
The BICO [produced a strike bulletin duriong the Loyalis lockout or strike. I think they tried to provide intellectual leadership to the loyalists. (The Strasser wing)

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8. Mbari - November 24, 2008

Speaking of Baron Bew, I was going to ask earlier what the relationship between the Workers Party and BICO was. It seems like their shared hatred of the Provos could have provided some mutual ground, but BICO’s hostility towards the civil rights movement and anything even vaguely resembling nationalism must have put off a lot of Sticks.

As a bitchy footnote, BICO take the prize for poorly xeroxed socialist newsletters. Even the lengthier collections and pamphlets of theirs that I’ve come across in the library look as bad as the piece featured above.

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9. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

Can we settle on pro-China/Albania rather than pro-Soviet given the reference to Russian imperialism Jim? :)

Mbari,

Some people with BICO backgrounds did join The WP – which of course meant signing up to The WP’s goal of a democratic, secular, socialist republic on the island of Ireland. Contrary to what some people have said, and as this document proves, the analyses of the two groups were completely different, whatever superficial similarities people might see. All this is based basically on the Irish Industrial Revolution, and ignores a host of differences. To give one major example, while BICO was advocating integration with Britain, The WP was calling for Peace, Work, Democracy, and Class Politics. The details may have changed over time (I’m not sure if a democratic convention was always part of the programme for example), but this meant essentially a local assembly), and a powerful Bill of Rights that would protect all citizens from discrimination by the state and a Constitutional Court to ensure its enforcement.

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10. Jim Monaghan - November 24, 2008

“The details may have changed over time (I’m not sure if a democratic convention was always part of the programme for example), but this meant essentially a local assembly), and a powerful Bill of Rights that would protect all citizens from discrimination by the state and a Constitutional Court to ensure its enforcement”
I would have been opposed to this at the time as a program. I am sure it must amuse Garibaldi that this is what the Provos settled for (or maybe less)
The Adams wing did away with O’Bradaighs version of a local assemby based on 9 counties in favour of a unitary state.
The PD/RMG line was that democracy was impossible on the basis of an inherently sectarian 6 county state. This also meant that they and I thought that a sectarian state and it’s overlord would/could not guarantee democratic rights.
Leaving animus out of it I suppose we will have to wait and see. What next Adams nominates Paisley for the Nobel Peace prize.

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11. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

I can certainly see the irony in the situation Jim, but if it’s funny, it’s only as tragi-comedy. I do see what the Provos settled for as less – the GFA provided for a civic forum, which was toothless anyway, but might have provided for increasing engagement of extremes within civil society, and helped stabilise the situation, as well as allowing social and economic demands to come to the fore. Of course, this was exactly why the politicians got rid of it as soon as they could – they did not want a potential rival as the voice of the people, nor a body that could put organised pressure on them to adopt policies they didn’t want to.

The Bill of Rights debacle has been completely indicative of the way in which the opportunity for progressive politics to develop has been smothered by the reactionary sectarian blocs. Despite a lot of rhetoric about rights from the nationalists in particular, the Bill of Rights – having been left in the hands of a quango – has become bogged down in a mass of particularist sectional claims. At the same time, the insistence by the Provisionals of a recognition of nationalist rights and unionist rights on the back of their campaign against Orange marches, added to the reactionary suspicion of the concept of a Bill of Rights among many unionists, has meant that a clear, democratic and indeed republican notion of rights has been lost. It’s somewhat ironic that the person who led the charge (such as it was) against the notion of communal rights was Lady Sylvia Hermon.

On the more general point Jim raises about whether it is possible to democratise the 6 county state or not given its origins, I think that clearly it no longer bears any semblance to the old unionist state, except of course in that it still exists. Clearly, violations of civil rights by the state persist, especially in the area of policing, but I would contend that most of the violation of civil rights not taking place in the north is on the grounds of class, and not religion – in the housing, education and health systems. Which was of course always the case to a large extent.

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12. Irish Mark P - November 24, 2008

It’s easy to forget just how utterly wrongheaded the BICO were because their period of “heroic” madness predates the internet by so long. Unless you are willing to dig stuff up in the Trinity College or Linenhall libraries, you won’t normally get a chance to see this stuff first hand and might think that their opponents are exaggerating when they talk about the BICO’s politics.

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13. Tim Von Bondie - November 24, 2008

The particular issue is by no means the maddest Mark. Some of the stuff just echoed loyalist propaganda ‘smash republican terror’ etc, while there was just basic bigoted attacks on Catholics ‘gombeens’ etc. All written by Catholics of course.

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14. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

In fairness to BICO, the genesis of their recent attacks on revisionism can be seen here in their attack on OSF wanting to remove what is distinctively Irish, catholicism. The attack on revisionism, support for FF, and alliance with Des Fennell all make more sense when seen in this light – they are defending what they see as the constitutive elements of the Irish nation.

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15. Cogadh - November 24, 2008

Two things strike me about this document:

a) how completely wrong they were

b) how that ‘wrongness’ has become the default position for an awful people today.

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16. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

Can you expand on point b) Cogadh as I’m not really sure what you’re driving at? Is it that people now are two nationists?

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17. Dunne & Crescendo - November 24, 2008

I would have thought the BICO’s high point was when people like Conor Cruise O’Brien, SOME (note to Garibaldy!) members of the WP, a large part of the Sunday Indo in the 1980s, John A. Murphy, Dunphy et al, Gay Byrne and several historians were echoing many of their points. That time passed after the PIRA ceasefires and two nationism of the ‘arn’t the Unionists really basically decent, northern Catholics are bastards’ variety was mothballed. Now we have the same two-nationism we had for 50 years before 1969; ie. most people do not give a shite what happens in the North as long as loads of people arn’t being killed and most southerners would rather sympathise (vaguely) with the fenians than with the prods.
Btw I see one of the Shoukri brothers has died of a drug overdose. What a shock. I presume when BICO were trying to talk to the UDA they weren’t all coke heads.

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18. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

D&C,

You’ve now made me visualise myself as Pavlov’s dog.

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19. Starkadder - November 24, 2008

I read somewhere that Brendan Clifford in the 70s used to write the entire contents of the “Worker’s Weekly” in a cafe in Belfast.

Oddly,today I was reading about David Trimble’s comments about the ROI being a “pathetic, sectarian, state” whose only reasons for existance was “Catholicism” and “anti-Britishness”. Were the contents of pamphlets like this being dislodged from Trimble’s memory?

Judging by the IRP’s disgraceful defence of the Chinese occupation of
Tibet, they still believe in progressive “imperialism”, as long as it’s
against the US,UK and Israel.

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20. WorldbyStorm - November 24, 2008

Hmmm Cogadh, seeing as BICO appear fairly implacably anti-Sunningdale I’m not sure that their thinking has become the dominant approach to such matters in this essentially pro-GFA context. That said, can’t but agree with you re a).

Poor old Trimble, utterly in thrall to his own nationalism, no sense of others.

Amazing isn’t Garibaldy? They’ve come half circle.

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21. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

Totally amazing. It’s like a whole load of Hitchens’ or Orwells all together.

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22. A Corkman - November 24, 2008

The line is that BICO sought a meeting with Paddy Devlin (which he refused) in order to try to get the SDLP to row back on the Council of Ireland so that the power-sharing Sunningdale government could be saved. They blame the Cruiser (!!) and Garret the Good for forcing the retention of the Council of Ireland when Republic’s Courts blocked removal of Articles 2 & 3 of the Constitution – which was the “price” of the Council of Ireland in the Sunningdale Agreement.

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23. Cogadh - November 24, 2008

Well Worldbystorm, I don’t see how BICO being hostile to Sunningdale would mean much when talking about ‘this essentially pro-GFA context’ we are now in. Surely the GFA was designed to be ‘all things to all men’ and so being pro GFA takes on different meanings to different people. Not that there is essentially anything wrong with this as such agreements obviously need compromise and a certain amount of constructive ambiguity to work.

However, the point about BICO and the current ideological climate is that being pro GFA (and other things) for alot of people coalesces around certain sentiments (the wrongness I mentioned above) found in the BICO document and indeed throughout most of their work.

Dunne & Crescendo: those people haven’t gone away you know!

Also, I should say that in my original comment NO. 15 I should have said ‘an awful lot of people’ rather than ‘an awful people’ (could have swore I did). I’m sure Freud would be interested anyway…

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24. WorldbyStorm - November 24, 2008

“However, the point about BICO and the current ideological climate is that being pro GFA (and other things) for alot of people coalesces around certain sentiments (the wrongness I mentioned above) found in the BICO document and indeed throughout most of their work.”

That’s a fair point Cogadh, I see what you mean and I think you’re correct.

A Corkman… they ‘blame’ the Cruiser… Bloody hell…

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25. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

I must be slow tonight. Does Cogadh mean the tendency to blame nationalists for all the problems in the north?

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26. Starkadder - November 24, 2008

Jack Lane and Manus O’Riordan are currently writing letters to the
Irish Examiner criticising the attempts to commenorate the Irish
WWI soldiers. While I have sympathies with not wanting to glorify
UK rule in Ireland, maybe someone should write in and spill the beans
on their B&ICO pasts?

(Jack Lane still writes to the Irish Examiner even though he published a
book attacking that same newspaper. What a hypocrite!).

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27. Cogadh - November 24, 2008

Well Garibaldy if you take this one quote just for example:

”If however socialism means confinement in a tight little turf-powered economy with everybody speaking a language that is of merely antiquarian interest to the rest of Europe, then we’ll be quite happy to settle for capitalism (and for that matter, ‘imperialism’), until something better comes along.”

Now a hell of a lot of people, and not just alleged socialists, would believe that the sentimets of the first part of that and because of that they did effectively settle for imperialism because they had no idea of how to deal with problems they faced.

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28. Garibaldy - November 24, 2008

Ah ok. I get your point now. As I said, not my day. Certainly there is a lot in what you say.

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29. Joe - November 25, 2008

On the two nations theory, Slawomir on a previous thread stated:

“BICO/the IPR group has developed its ideas over the last 40 years. Its two nations theory has not changed. Briefly it says that the Unionist population in the North have the characteristics of a separate nationality and would not wither away if British support was withdrawn (unlike Southern Unionism). But the theory does not dogmatically state which State the Unionist should belong to. It is not at all unusual for national minorities to be contained within States. In a United Ireland the unionists would be in a minority. Within Northern Ireland the nationalists would be in a minority etc.”

I would agree pretty much 100% with that i.e. that the Unionist population in the North have the characteristics of a separate nationality and would not wither away if British support was withdrawn (unlike Southern Unionism).

Garibaldi, earlier on this thread, states: “Some people with BICO backgrounds did join The WP – which of course meant signing up to The WP’s goal of a democratic, secular, socialist republic on the island of Ireland.” Under democratic centralism they would have had to sign up to public support for the Party’s position but they would not have been precluded from having differing private views and arguing them internally within the Party. Am I right?
I remember a debate on that goal of a “democratic, socialist republic… a unitary state on the island of Ireland” at one of the last pre-split WP Ard Fheiseanna. The proposal was to include that line in the new party constitution. I spoke against, saying I didn’t give a whistle as to what form socialism took on the island (what would be wrong e.g. with two fraternal socialist states on the island?) as long as the killing stopped. It seemed to me at the time that only PSF were still committed to “a unitary state on the island of Ireland”, even RSF still had their Eire Nua which gave some autonomy to each province. So why should the WP be hung up on “a unitary state”?

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30. Garibaldy - November 25, 2008

Joe,

You are right. The question though is whether The WP adopted BICO’s positions, as is often alledged. To which the answer is no.

As for the republic, for me it is about the maximum amount of democracy and control over their own future, politically, economically and socially, for the people that live on the island. I think it is wrong to say that the only people talking about a unitary state as their long-term goal were ourselves and the Provos. It was and remains the ultimate goal of practically every party in the south, and the SDLP in the north. The difference of course between the Provos and everybody else was the preparedness to wait and achieve it peacefully rather than futilely trying to force people into it. While the republic remains the long-term goal, the point of course of the whole project from its inception in the early 1960s has been to address the interests of workers as they stand today, and improve them today, while building towards the ultimate goal, so I don’t think the ultimate aim of building a socialist society on the whole island has ever precluded The WP from pursuing more immediate goals at the same time, as I’m sure you’ll have a lot of experience of during the 1980s.

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31. Garibaldy - November 25, 2008

I meant to say it is now ironic to see Gilmore describing the Irish Labour Party as a republican party, and using this as an excuse to avoid standing in elections in the north. See here

http://southbelfastdiary.blogspot.com/2008/11/close-door-on-your-way-out.html

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32. Joe - November 25, 2008

“the ultimate aim of building a socialist society on the whole island.” Gotcha Gari! I would argue that the above should be the WPs stated aim. Working class people of a unionist background would be slightly less put off by that than by “The WP’s goal of a democratic, secular, socialist republic on the island of Ireland.”

Leave it at “building a socialist society on the whole island” and let’s leave what form(s) that might take to a few generations down the line.

Anyone else want to pick a fight with that excellent, self-evidently true, BICO definition of the two nations theory i.e. that the Unionist population in the North have the characteristics of a separate nationality and would not wither away if British support was withdrawn (unlike Southern Unionism)?

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33. Garibaldy - November 25, 2008

I see your point Joe, but our socialist politics are clear, and it is clear that the republic we envisage holds no dangers for those from a unionist background.

Am I not allowed to pick a fight over two nations, or does it have to be somebody else?!

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34. Joe - November 25, 2008

I’d prefer a little cogadh with Cogadh but if he or any of the others don’t bite, feel free to get stuck in, Garibaldi. (But I know that deep down your heart won’t be in it!)

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35. Garibaldy - November 25, 2008

On another point – socialism requires the seizure of state power. So I do think it is important to outline that, which talk of building a socialist society doesn’t quite outline clearly.

As for the two nations thing, I am perfectly happy to argue that the BICO has misapplied Stalin’s description of what constitutes a nation :)

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36. Starkadder - November 25, 2008

Interesting that the WW leaflet defends the internment of Loyalists as well as republicans.

Civil Liberties? What are you, an altar-hugging gombeen man?

As for the language of “antiquarian interest” bit, I’ve read some of B&ICO’s pamphlets printed in Dublin where they defend the Irish language but attack the Irish language lobby as “racialist” and “sectarian”. They also had a long-running feud with Padraig O Snodaigh, because his book “Hidden Ulster” undermined the B&ICO’s two-nations policy.

I suspect, because “Workers Weeky” was aimed at a mainly Loyalist audience, Clifford could turn the anti-ROI, anti-Catholic rhetoric to industrial strength.

B&ICO About-Turn Number 12,478: Now the IPR runs editorials aggressively defending the compulsory Irish policy.

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37. WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2008

The thing is that those aren’t minor U-Turns, or just matters of detail.

Hmmm… Joe, given some time I’m sure I could contest the idea that it’s a simple 2 nations situation. Perhaps two nationalities or national identities, but even that is over-doing it, not least because one ‘national identity’ is intertwined with another in a geographic space. That said the functional solutions to the problem clearly lie in dealing with differentiated identities, or formulating new ones. I suspect the former is easier than the latter.

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38. A Corkman - November 26, 2008

That’s pathetic! I despise the BICO. But all they ever were, and are, is word merchants and spouters. But for a former Stick, with their guns, war and rackets, to talk about U-turns! The words “elephant” and “room” suggest themselves.

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39. Joe - November 26, 2008

Hmmm. It certainly ain’t simple WBS. There is a very slight possibility that we just might all agree on that. I honestly can’t see how two nationalities or national identities would be overstretching it. Seems to me that that much is self-evident. That those two nationalities / national identities share the same geographical space is true too. I suppose we could do with some definition of the term nation. But let’s not bother!

If I recall, the WP hoped that at some stage in the future, working class people in the north would begin to identify themselves primarily by their class rather than by their national identity. That would be nice. Certainly worth working for. Sadly, very much a long-term aspiration.

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40. WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2008

A Corkman, I understand your point, even share it to some extent, but in fairness I was a member of the WP from the early 1980s until the split with DL. By the time I joined the U-turns had largely been done. I actually disagreed with large sections of the party programme, for example my brand of Republican socialism would be very much one that sought a unitary state, etc, etc. I thought the negative approach to Republicanism in general (and the obsession with the Provo’s) was pointless considering the party’s past. I thought it was far too soft on Unionism and so on. But outweighing all those disagreements the basic issue for me was that in my opinion it was the only strong coherent voice for left-wing policies in the state I lived in during that period of time. SF had a stunted ideological platform at that time, the further left were far too small and the Labour Party was simply too tilted to the centre. I was no fan of many of the U-turns, but I wanted to be active politically in a serious way. And here’s a thought, you look at Joe above who was in my branch during the same period and consider the gulf between us in terms of some of our beliefs as regards Republicanism then and now (and Joe would be a comrade I very much admire and respect). It’s easy to categorise or draw conclusions, but reality is fairly complex.

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41. Garibaldy - November 26, 2008

Can I just complicate this reality further by saying that The WP of course has never had a negative attitude to republicanism, but has had a negative attitude to tribal nationalism, of both varieties. For The WP, republicanism and socialism are effectively the same thing. Uniting the people of the country – as part of a broader international progressive struggle – lies at the heart of both. That is why terrorism of all stripes was rejected – it cost ordinary workers their lives for no good purpose, and to counter-revolutionary effect, whatever the intent. It’s no accident that when the Harris’ and De Rossas of the world abandoned the idea of working throughout the island, they abandoned socialism too.

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42. WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2008

I accept that point to a degree. While correct in de jure terms, in de facto terms it was not quite as evident. Which meant that the party image was one of unrelenting hostility to Republicanism.

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43. Starkadder - November 26, 2008

While we’re discussing the WP, is it true that the modern WP is more
hostile to the ex-DL members than to today’s PSF ?

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44. Garibaldy - November 26, 2008

Starkadder,

We are equally nice to everybody.

WBS,

I think our disagreement is over the definition of republicanism. Although obviously I accept than among some, especially in Dublin in the late 1980s into the early 1990s, people were moving into a partitionist position.

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45. Starkadder - November 26, 2008

Garibaldy,

I’ll take your word for it,though that was something I read somewhere
(Slugger O’Toole?).

Back to the subject….A number of writers, including Dennis Tourish and Tim Wohlforth, ALexandra Stein and Jeff Walker, having written books about “political cults” such as the WRP and the Larouche organisation. I wonder…

*personality cult leader,
*demonization of opponents and former members
(us-versus-them mentality)
*a strong emphasis on fund-raising
(the AHS often strongly promotes its Athol Books material on
Indymedia)

And again, it’s odd that such as small press like Athol Books didn’t
go bankrupt,producing such huge print runs on such meagre
resoures. Maybe Mbari’s comment about their poor print quality
(something Books Ireland magazine has also mentioned) explains it.

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46. Garibaldy - November 26, 2008

Starkadder,

It might be fair to say that among those who remember both, there by now a greater sense of betrayal at the DLers than the Provos, given the successes that had been achieved, and that were thrown away. But people are aware that the reality has changed, that left cooperation is vital, and that to rebuild the Party requires looking ahead, and not back.

As for Athol Books, I always assumed that it was funded by subscriptions from its members, though I am aware of allegations surrounding their funding. I really have no idea. What is true though is that much of the stuff in the modern area is overpriced, given the quality of the material.

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47. WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2008

Well, ish, Garibaldy. :) I think the problem was that the WP allowed its critique of Republicanism in the SF sense to overwhelm its anti-partitionist stance to the degree that many members at that time were entirely comfortable with partition rather than regarding it as a symptom of the broader problems. That has certainly changed somewhat since the rupture with DL.

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48. Garibaldy - November 26, 2008

I’ll take you word for it about the partition thing, it seems reasonable, but what I will always object to is that attitude being seen as characterising the Party position. Too often, people use the likes of Harris to stand in for what the actual position was.

As for partition. It’s a reality, it’s there, it won’t be going anywhere soon. Labour mustn’t wait because of it, and practical gains for workers are essential in the interim. As Joe said above somewhere, and as you know well, the Party position is to remove it by replacing unionist and nationalist identities with a class one. Do you think that in the 1980s that position was characterised as unionist, or crypto-unionist or whatever, whereas now, post-GFA, it looks more normal? I think there is an element of this.

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49. Starkadder - November 26, 2008

I think you’re right about “rebuilding the party” and “left cooperation”-I remember PSF and the WP cooperating with several other parties at an anti-Iraq War protest.

I’d say you’re also spot on with Athol material being over-priced, and also, things like Jack Lane producing a pamphlet attacking the Irish Examiner for not publishing one of his letters-that’s essentially
Vanity publishing, not a serious political work.

On a side note, didn’t one of the Republicans (Derry Kelleher) have his own private press as well? I remember the Cork Library saying
most of Kelleher’s work was published by an outfit called Justice Books.

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50. Garibaldy - November 26, 2008

Yeah, I mean a tenner for stuff that looks like it was run off a normal printer and stuck together is a bit much. And they have jacked the price of some of the stuff they produced decades ago. Queen’s Bookshop has a lot of their stuff. Having said that, their little book about Roy Foster (envoi taking leave of roy foster or whatever it was called) was a decent enough job.

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51. Garibaldy - November 26, 2008

Oh, I didn’t know Kelleher had his own press, but I guess that makes sense too.

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52. WorldbyStorm - November 26, 2008

In fairness I am talking about the 1980s or early 1990s, and if one looks at DL publications, some of which are in the archive and some of which will appear I certainly agree that a tranche of that view went with DL.

I think the situation changed as regards the party, but I’m not sure that the GFA changed it. I’d think that the 1990s changed it, and the ceasefires. Once Provisional Republicanism shifted away from armed struggle there was less point to knocking them for that, and it allowed the party to rediscover (assisted by the departure of the DL element) it’s anti-partitionist roots, which is not to say there weren’t critiques aplenty of SF.

And as regards the view being normalised, I’m not sure that’s it, I think that the logic of the ceasefires meant that a solution that was entirely acceptable to the Southern population, i.e. a quiet North (in all senses) appeared. I’m not entirely happy with that approach, which is implicitly partitionist in the most reactionary sense.

I absolutely agree that it’s not as if partition will vanish today or tomorrow, but I don’t think there’s any harm in a party like the WP, or indeed others, arguing that this is not the way things have to be and that the identities that we’ve seen develop aren’t the be all and end all.

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53. Garibaldy - November 27, 2008

I see why you’re saying what you’re saying, but due to this conversation, I’ve just been looking at The Future is Socialism, which I guess was (along with the documents reproduced in Patterns of Betrayal) the major restatement of the Party’s aims, strategy and analysis post-the DL split. It’s from 1993, so before the Provo ceasefire.

Here is an important passage that I think covers both this discussion, and that with Joe about the reason for keeping the aim as a republic.

“IN April 1985 the Party endorsed the following statement; “The Workers Party’s long term goal is the establishment of a democratic, secular, socialist unitary state – a republic. It is our belief that the interests of the working class can best be served in such a State.

The Republic would have strict separation of church and state, would guarantee civil and religious liberties to all and would represent the class interests of the working class on this island.

To achieve this objective the Workers Party will have won the support of the overwhelming majority of the working class in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It cannot be achieved by coercion or subterfuge. The working class must want it or demand it.

The Party also recognises that progress towards that goal depends on a multiplicity of other factors- both national and international, and therefore stresses the immediate need for the establishment of democratic politics in Northern Ireland and the strengthening of democratic institutions in the Republic.”

The definition of republic is repeated a number of times in the document, and IIRC the starry plough was restored as the Party symbol at the first Ard Fheis after the DL people went. I think it was part of a reassertion of fundamental principles necessitated by the DL split. But again, remember the involvement of Mac Giolla and others in the 1991 commemorations for 1916, when the establishment wouldn’t touch them.

I agree though that the changes wrought in attitudes in the south by the peace process did change the attitudes of people to the term republicanism, as well as unionists, paradoxically.

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54. Joe - November 27, 2008

Yes I remember hearing that the Party had gone back to its republican roots somewhat immediately after the DL split. Reclaiming the Starry Plough would have been part of that. I was an ex-member at that stage and never joined DL. The WP going back to republicanism put me off going back to the WP!
Anyway, as was said earlier, let’s look ahead and not back. I’m looking forward to the education march on 6th Dec. Cork got over 20,000 out. The Dubs have to beat that. Let’s pray we get a fine day. The banner mix should be the makings of a fine popular front – schools with holy names and atheistic communist parties!

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55. Garibaldy - November 27, 2008

Do you really consider Joe that that definition of republicanism is either not fully compliant with socialism as the defining characteristic of the Party’s politics, and not differentiated enough from tribal nationalism?

The education marches I am sure will be great fun. And doubtless some FF TDs will turn out to oppose the government in true populist style. Happens in the North all the time.

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56. NollaigO - November 27, 2008

schools with holy names : Scol Garibaldy gan smál

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57. WorldbyStorm - November 27, 2008

I think you’re broadly right G re republicanism and socialism. However, how that operates in the actual political contexts of the island is a different matter.

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58. Joe - November 28, 2008

Garibaldy,

The WP’s official understanding of republicanism I have little or no problem with. But I would say you are on a loser trying to reclaim the term from history – it is completely intertwined with tribal nationalism in most people’s minds on this island.

Again the recipe is there for a long discussion. But I’m too busy knitting my WE ARE ALL CHRISTIAN BROTHERS NOW banner.

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59. WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2008

Wait a second… “We are all Christian Brothers Now”…that can’t be right…

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60. Garibaldy - November 30, 2008

Great. I hope though Joe you are not damaging your hands beating small children too hard.

On the serious point, being on something that looks less than a winner in the short term is hardly a novel experience!

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61. Starkadder - November 30, 2008

Back to B&ICO for a minutre Two B&ICO linked men- Pat Muldowney and Gwydion M. Williams -are
contributors to Wikipedia. As I understand it Muldowney and Malachi
Lawless, another IPR writer, also work on Indymedia.ie as well.

But the odd thing is…Slugger O’Toole, Politics.ie, Splintered Sunrise…
the IPR crowd never turn up to post or debate on these websites-they only appear, AFAIK, on Indymedia.ie.

If I were cynical, I’d say this is because they have two members working on the latter website.

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62. Garibaldy - November 30, 2008

don’t tempt fate!

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63. Starkadder - November 30, 2008

:)

The Sunday Business Post has a review of the
AHS’ book, where the reviewer discusses B&ICO’s past:

http://www.thepost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=BOOKS-qqqm=nav-qqqid=37792-qqqx=1.asp

On another topic-and this isn’t intended as an “ad hominem”
attack-I understand Pat Muldowney is very anti-abortion. He
wrote an article for “Church and State” attacking abortion a few
years ago.

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64. WorldbyStorm - November 30, 2008

I sort of wish the SBP review had been a bit more of a review, if you know what I mean. King can write and it was a good potted history of BICO and after, but the meat of the book wasn’t made evident. That said, and as one who was very critical of the original programme, I can’t dissent from his final paragraph. The idea that the Coolacrease programme is going to be the central pivot about which our understanding of the WOI and after rotates seems to me to be simply absurd. I’ll bet most people either haven’t heard or don’t care about it. But in a way that seems to me to be a perfect illustration of the symmetry between the Harris view of the world and that of BICO/AHS. They both see themselves as being the purveyors of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and also being the only voices that have any weight on their respective matters of consideration.

Starkadder, the Irish left is no stranger to strong anti-abortion views.

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65. Garibaldy - November 30, 2008

Thanks for that Starkadder. I agree with WBS that it isn’t a review as such, and that might have been good. And that they are just as nuts as their equivalents on the other side.

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66. anarchaeologist - December 1, 2008

Starkadder,

neither Pat Muldowney or Malachi Lawless are members of the Indymedia collective, insofar as neither moderate posts or work on any of the working groups.

Anyone can post on Indymedia as long as the posting rules are adhered to. Muldowney has indeed posted lengthy stories on Indymedia that have not broken any of the guidelines (I don’t know about Lawless) and a lot of his musings on Coolacrease have been published there.

WBS,

I’d suggest you’re correct in thinking that most punters either haven’t heard or don’t particularly care about pivotal understandings of the WoI. There’s a lot of ‘hidden history’ out there which hasn’t been considered by those who make a living out of history; all of this stuff should be examined from the bottom up…

On a wider note, I often find interesting (and entertaining) nuggets in the IPR. November’s issue for example publishes correspondence between Manus O’Riordan and Muriel MacSweeney, whose life in exile after the death of her husband is not really well treated in her daughter’s memoirs. Pulling characters such as MacSweeney from the flood waters of Irish history is a useful exercise in its own right (as is of course CLR’s own excavations of our leftie political past).

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67. Starkadder - December 1, 2008

“neither Pat Muldowney or Malachi Lawless are members of the Indymedia collective, insofar as neither moderate posts or work on any of the working groups.”

Thanks for pointing that out. I’m sorry if I implied they were giving
special treatment to their fellow travellers.
I do reckon that the AHS posts on Indymedia a) because it’s a sort of
notice board for left and republican groups and b) because it’s the
website they have two members posting on most regularly.

BTW, anarchaeologist, do you know what Chekov Feeney is doing
nowadays? I heard he left Indymedia.

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68. WorldByBreeze - December 1, 2008

Starkadder,
I am interested in the abortion issue. Would you mind giving the precise date and name of the publication you mentioned above? Also, can you provide one or two quotes of the relevant parts of that article, and from any other relevant article?
Many thanks in advance,
Stasia

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69. Starkadder - December 2, 2008

Stasia,
the issue of “Church and State” with Muldowney’s anti-abortion piece in it was issue 52, in 1995. There should be copies in the National Library,the Linen Hall in Belfast, and the Cork City Library.

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70. WorldByBreeze - December 2, 2008

Thanks, Starkadder.
Unfortunately I cannot get access to these.
Could you quote a few of the relevant parts?
Love,
Stasia

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71. Dunne & Crescendo - December 2, 2008

I think legendary Celtic centre half Danny McGrain could sue Steven King, as King’s review is basically a re-hash of ‘Danny’s’ ‘From Peking to Aubane’ piece on Indymedia in early 2007. ‘Danny’ is pleased to know he has been of some service however. He just wishes that people who are paid more than him could do their own research.

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72. Starkadder - December 2, 2008

Stacia, I don’t have a copy that particular publication. You’ll have to go to one of the libraries I mentioned to get it (make an appointment-they’ll all be delighted to help).

D&C, I’m amazed it’s taken so long for a national newspaper to spill
the beans on the B&ICO/AHS connection. I did notice a few phrases
pulled from the FPTA article.

Eoghan Harris has mentioned the FPTA connection as well.

I’ve said it before,but someone really should write a book about that AHS crowd-we’d all read it!

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73. Garibaldy - December 2, 2008

Starkadder,

you’re the best man to do it I suspect, so get scribbling.

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74. WorldbyStorm - December 2, 2008

I’d second that…

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75. Starkadder - December 3, 2008

But do I really want to be on the receiving end of a 700 page Athol Books’ “Starkadder is a Shoneen who smells of poo” hatchet job? :(

On the topic Joe mentioned, I wonder would it be possible to revive
Irish Republicanism by linking it with popular sovereignty and
civic virtue (opposition to political corruption) ?

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76. WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2008

Yes, yes you do.

That’s not a bad idea re Republicanism.

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77. WorldByBreeze - December 3, 2008

Hold on, boys! A sister in Cork City Library has just sent me the following:

“Church & State, no. 52, 1995:

Dear Editor,

Spot the Person Competition, nos. 50 & 51

The point of this seems to be that the various embryos depicted are virtually indistinguishable in appearance, and therefore are of virtually equal significance or value, or lack of it. The text says that the point is that “all life should be treated with due respect”.

Is the “respect” due to a rabbit foetus similar to that due to a human foetus?

If Church & State persists with this kind of moral reasoning, the otherwise good work being done by the magazine may be severely damaged.

Yours sincerely
Pat Muldowney
9.1.95″

Pat Muldowney appears to be making some kind of philosophical point in opposition to a Church & State line. It is not possible to determine from this what are his views on abortion. The sister says that there is nothing else by him in that issue. No article, just this short letter.

Sadly Mr “Starkadder” seems to make a habit of this kind of thing. What line does WuS take on anonymous contributors who make false statements about named and fully identifiable individuals, and who then run for cover when asked to substantiate?

I’m beginning to worry about this establishment and the gentlemen who frequent it. A girl has to think about her reputation. (Though the Cork Library sister says that, unfortunately, Mr Starkadder is never going to be one of my gentlemen.)

Still, I love you all just the same!

Stasia

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78. Starkadder - December 3, 2008

Stacia,
Read my post again. It said:
“On another topic-and this isn’t intended as an “ad hominem”
attack-I understand Pat Muldowney is very anti-abortion.”

It wasn’t intended as a attack on Muldowney. And the letter does make clear that Muldowney is critical of the reasoning that puts a human foetus on a level with animal foetuses, and note the emphasis Muldowney puts on the “respect” and “significance and value” of a human foetus. These are all common arguments put forward by anti-abortion activists. Hence I interpreted the letter-and Muldowney’s views as being anti-abortion. You completely missed the ” *I understand* Pat Muldowney is very anti-abortion” section.

And it is VERY offensive to imply that I post false statements about
anyone in the AHS, or anyone else. Everything I post up about them
has been researched and referenced. I do not “make a habit” of it.

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79. WorldByBreeze - December 3, 2008

Well, I never!

I take it that means a “rendezvous” is out of the question?

A girl can just sense these things.

Your ever-loving
Stasia

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80. smiffy - December 3, 2008

“But do I really want to be on the receiving end of a 700 page Athol Books’ “Starkadder is a Shoneen who smells of poo” hatchet job?”

Who wouldn’t? Wear it as a badge of honour.

Also, try to avoid getting wound up by so obvious a troll.

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81. WorldbyStorm - December 3, 2008

Starkadder hasn’t posted anything in my recollection he can’t substantiate…

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82. slawomir - December 5, 2008

You must be joking, WBS. In this thread Starkadder has claimed that Pat Muldowney is “very anti-abortion”. When WBB reproduced the relevant quote and asked him to substantiate the allegation he emphasised that it was only his “understanding”.

I have never before met a “very anti-abortion” person whose views are unclear on the subject!

I don’t expect you to check every claim that Starkadder makes. I certainly don’t. But on the basis of allegations that I have checked I can confirm that his misrepresentations are a matter of routine.

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83. WorldbyStorm - December 5, 2008

You appear to misread his words slawomir. He said he ‘understood that…’ and noted that this wasn’t an ad hominem attack – this was clearly something of a side issue of interest to him. It would seem he was misinformed.

I’ve pointed this out before, abortion is an issue on which reasonable people can take differing views. Granted on the left probably the majority are pro-choice, but some are not and that is always of interest. It would further appear from your indefatigable comrades efforts that Pat Muldowney isn’t very anti-abortion. Case closed.

Now, I don’t expect you to back up the allegation of yours that Starkadder makes misrepresentations as a matter of routine with every occasion he has done so, but a sample wouldn’t go amiss.

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84. Starkadder - December 6, 2008

For the last time:

“On another topic-and this isn’t intended as an “ad hominem”
attack-*I understand* Pat Muldowney is very anti-abortion.”

I had only read one statement from Muldowney about the abortion
issue, reproduced above. And it was my understanding from Muldowney’s objection to the human foetus being placed on an
equal level with the other animal foetuses,that he had strong
objections to the human foetus being “devalued” -strong enough to
criticize the whole “Church and State” magazine over it.Why would he
complain about this,unless he wanted to retain the strong
value the anti-abortion movement places on the life of the
human foetus?

I thus gathered it was a criticism of the abortion movement-another possible interpretation, that Muldowney may have been attacking the extremist wing of the animal rights movement,(objecting to human foetuses being placed on the same moral level as animal ones) wasn’t supported by the text I read.

If you have other documentation from Pat Muldowney on
the abortion issue that state he is in favour of abortion, I will admit that I was misinformed. But the single letter WBB republished-the only statement of Muldowney’s I found linked to the abortion issue-gives me no reason to change my assessment.

It is also a very serious accusation to say I “make misrepresentations
as a matter of routine”. Can you supply any proof of this accusation?

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85. slawomir - December 6, 2008

I could say I “understand” something false about someone and then when challenged about it say that it was only my understanding. Do you think that is a reputable way of conducting a debate?

Starkadder said Pat Muldowney:

“… wrote an article for “Church and State” attacking abortion a few
years ago.”

Would you not accept that that misrepresents the letter that Muldowney actually wrote?

And what do you mean: “it would seem he was misinformed”?

Starkadder was misinformed by what he read?

The impression that Starkadder has been trying to convey is that BICO/IPR are right wing Catholics (comparing it to Hibernia etc), which is bizarre given its early advocacy of separation of Church and State. Therefore he did not mention the editorial line of the relevant issue of Church & State which was unambiguously pro choice.

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86. Starkadder - December 6, 2008

Do you have a statement from Muldowney where he states he is
in favour of abortion? If you can prove Muldowney is in favour of abortion, then I will retract the statement.

I’m well aware that most of the C&S articles were pro-abortion,
which is why Muldowney’s “foetus-rights” letter stood out.

And as for today, why are the B&ICO crowd so obsessed, for instance, with disproving Roger Casement’s homosexuality-a bugbear of the Irish Catholic Right for decades, as W. J. McCormack has pointed out? Nowadays, they’re quite happy to throw their lot in with the most reactionary elements in Irish society when it suits them (the description of critics of Charlie Haughey, that well-known
frugal egalitarian, in the July 2006 IRP as “Hyenas” who were “led by Whitehall” springs to mind).

And you still haven’t proved that in my CLR posts that “I make misrepresentations as a matter of routine”.

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87. A Corkman - December 6, 2008

God knows, I am no fan of the BICO posers.
But if we can’t get beyond hints and innuendos, then we’ll never get anywhere. Unfortunately, Starkadder is not helping our case. I posted the whole of the July 2006 IPR “Hyenas” article on another of these CLR threads in order to help Starkadder to complete the above argument, which he was also making on that thread. By not responding then, Starkadder gave an open goal to Slawomir & Co. Hints and innuendos won’t cut it, I’m afraid.

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88. WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2008

Can I just point out that I’m in awe of the BICO/AHS internet rapid response unit. No comment shall be made, no post posted, with those initials without at least one or two of their supporters (members?) appearing to chastise others for their temerity in mischaracterising them. Highly impressive.

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89. slawomir - December 6, 2008

It is not up to me to find an article by Pat Muldowney in favour of abortion. You made an allegation that you understood he was “very anti-abortion”. The only evidence you could find was an article “attacking abortion”. When the article was looked at it emerged that the “article” was a short letter disagreeing with the suggestion that a rabbit foetus was indistinguishable from a human foetus. In my view this falls very far short of an “attack”. And to characterise the letter as an “article attacking abortion” is a misrepresentation.

The fact that you couldn’t find any other articles against abortion by Pat Muldowney in your trawl going back more than 10 years is an example of you failing to substantiate an allegation that he was “very anti-abortion”.

And what was your purpose in raising this more than 13 years after the event? In my view it was to misrepresent the IPR group as a group of “right wing Catholics”. For that reason you couldn’t mention that the letter (which you call an “article”) was in disagreement with the pro-choice views of the editor. This brings me to another routine misrepresentation: your allegation that the IPR group is a “cult” and your satirical point that it is a “herd of independent minds”.

There are frequently different views in publications associated with the IPR group. Some of the views I disagree with (“vehemently”). For example, I disagree with a lot of Desmond Fennell’s views. Nevertheless, I think what he has to say is interesting and worth reading.

The IPR is “not obsessed with disproving Roger Casement’s homosexuality” (yet another misrepresentation). However, it has given space to Tim O’Sullivan (not an IPR group member) to give his views on the so-called Casement black diaries. O’Sullivan thinks they are forgeries, or at least contain forged interpolations. The IPR has also given space to an academic (Tom Sawyer) to defend their authenticity.

From what I have read I am inclined to believe that they were forgeries. I also don’t believe there is anything disreputable in being a homosexual or in homosexuals having a fulfilling sex life. But the “black diaries” go beyond merely alleging that Casement was a homosexual (paedophilia and the sexual exploitation of third world boys is also involved). And homosexual acts were criminal offences in Casement’s time. So whatever we might think now about homosexuality, the showing of these diaries to important people (e.g. Woodrow Wilson) prior to Casement’s execution was not designed to encourage a more enlightened view of the subject. It was an attempt to undermine worldwide opposition to his execution.

WBS, as far as I am aware I am the only member of the “BICO/AHS internet rapid response unit” that has posted on this site. But I am happy to express awe at your much more rapid and impressive response to all manner of posts.

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90. NollaigO - December 6, 2008

Starkadder

When you are in a hole stop digging!

First of all, Pat Muldowney has no obligation to state anything . You made the following charge in post 63:
On another topic-and this isn’t intended as an “ad hominem”
attack-I understand Pat Muldowney is very anti-abortion. He
wrote an article for “Church and State” attacking abortion a few
years ago.

The emphasis in the second sentence is mine as you had omitted this sentence when you attempted to defend yourself in posts 78 and 84. You have produced no evidence for that statement but have produced a tortuous argument that

….it was my understanding from Muldowney’s objection to the human foetus being placed on an equal level with the other animal foetuses,that he had strong objections to the human foetus being “devalued” -strong enough to criticize the whole “Church and State” magazine over it. Why would he complain about this,unless he wanted to retain the strong value the anti-abortion movement places on the life of the human foetus?

The onus is not on Pat Muldowney to state his views on abortion. You made the charge.
You have no substantive evidence for it.
Therefore you should withdraw the accusation.

On a wider point, I do think, Starkadder, that you have form in making unsubstantiated allegations about the IPR group, in using bogus amalgams and also using the “dúirt bean gur ndúirt bean eile” style of reporting. Previously, in post 61, you claimed IPR writers Lawless and Muldowney worked for Indymedia until it was pointed out in post 66 that this was untrue. You frequently question where they get their finances for their publications. You also claimed that a book review of an Athol Books publication claimed that publication contained words by Brendan Clifford in praise of Hitle[nothing was quoted], that an Irish Times letter in the 1960s by Clifford had politically dubious comments. Even in post 83 we have the tortuousline of argument that any project to disprove the authenticity of the Casement diaries implies an alliance with the Catholic Right. Also you argue that the fig-leaf, “I understand”, absolves you from responsibility for t.hese statements.
There is a wider issue here. I would suggest that writers to this blog feel that they are on the side of the angels when they write critical comments about the IPR/BICO and then feel that they can play free and easy with allegations and sources. Your comments in defence of Starkadder, WbS, were very much a rush to judgment. When WbS/Stasia when to the trouble of getting and quoting Pat Muldowney’s article and arguing very cogently that the his letter could not be interpreted as an attack on abortion rights, she was dubbed a troll by smiffy. Mo náire thú.

As somebody who debated again Clifford at a Glasgow public meeting in 1972/3, I know well the origin of the IPR. Then I was a provo trot and pointed out to Clifford that the two nations theory was put forward in the Marxist movement in the 1930s by an American trotskyist in an article which also had the germs of the “lazy Southern bourgeoisie” analysis which became much loved by the WP in the 1970s/1980s.

http://www.workersrepublic.org/Pages/Ireland/Trotskyism/irelandandulster.html

Nowadays when I read their articles in defence of the 1916 Rising, the West Cork Flying Columns, Irish neutrality in the Second World War, …. against “Tramps’ Ball” commemorations of WW1, my response is: Welcome Home.

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91. WorldbyStorm - December 6, 2008

Nollaig O, Wbb/Stasia *is* a troll as “her” contributions and “her” not at all hilarious use of the Wbb moniker and her continual reference to me as Wus indicate. So ‘her’ bona fides are entirely decrepit on this and any other issue, to my mind at least.

I agree with you and slawomir that it is not for Muldowney to prove anything one way or another and in that Starkadder is incorrect. But to say that Starkadder is habitually prone to misrepresentation is unfair and inaccurate. No rush to judgement on my part, merely the latter observation.

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92. WorldByBreeze - December 6, 2008

AND some PERVERTS called ME a TROLLOP!

Really!!!!

Stasia

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93. Starkadder - December 6, 2008

NollaigO

[First of all, Pat Muldowney has no obligation to state anything . You made the following charge in post 63:
On another topic-and this isn’t intended as an “ad hominem”
attack-I understand Pat Muldowney is very anti-abortion. He
wrote an article for “Church and State” attacking abortion a few
years ago.]

Which part of the “this isn’t intended as an “ad hominem attack” sentence did you not understand? I was my interpretation of Muldowney’s article that he was against abortion. It was intended as a neutral assessment of what I believed Muldowney’s beliefs were- there was no “charge” or “accusation” here,as your loaded terminology implies.

As I said, if you have evidence that Muldowney isn’t opposed to abortion, fair enough, quote it,and I will admit I was wrong on this issue. If you were to go through all my posts and find only one oblique criticism of the Pro-abortion movement, you would be within your rights to ask me whether I was anti-abortion. Thus,the onus IS on Muldowney to clarify his position on the abortion issue. Otherwise,the issue is a red herring.

[On a wider point, I do think, Starkadder, that you have form in making unsubstantiated allegations about the IPR group, in using bogus amalgams and also using the “dúirt bean gur ndúirt bean eile” style of reporting….You also claimed that a book review of an Athol Books publication claimed that publication contained words by Brendan Clifford in praise of Hitler[nothing was quoted] ]

*Elizabeth Bowen, Notes on Eire by Brendan Clifford and Jack Lane. 1st Edition. Aubane Historical Society, 1999. On Page 83:

“…Hitler’s speeches are coherent arguments with a thought content equal to Lenin’s, and I can see how, in a revolutionary situation, Hitler reasoned reasonable people into doing one thing, and Hitler reasoned them into doing another”.

Also quoted in J. Ardle McArdle’s review of the second edition ,Books Ireland, Oct. 2008.

Praise of Hitler’s “coherent arguments” is still praise of Hitler.

As for my other comments about the B&ICO/Aubane group in
this thread, some references:

*The defence of the Chinese occupation of Tibet (Post 19)

Letter by Madawc Williams defending the Chinese occupation: IPR July 2008.

Also:
“It was explained that the reason for Chinese prudence in the matter had to do with Tibet. China holds Tibet as part of the Chinese State against the will of the inhabitants of Tibet, it is said. We do not know if that is the case in fact, but it what we are told by the media of the Great Power under whose hegemony we live.” IPR Editorial, September 2008. In other words, the Tibetan independence movement is a creation of the Anglo-American media.

*Jack Lane has published this chapbook attacking the Irish Examiner (post 26) (note the sarcastic quote marks)
Elizabeth Bowen: A ‘Debate’ in the Irish Examiner (Paperback) by Jack Lane (Author) Aubane Historical Society May 2008.

*Their changing attitude to the Irish language (Post 36)
From the B&ICO pamphlet: The Irish Language: Revivalism and the Gaeltacht:circa 1972- Pg. 6 :
The role of the Irish language revival was to “stifle the development
Of working class consciousness and working class politics. It also promotes Racialism by developing a sense of antagonism in the Catholic Irish against the British, regardless of class.”

Irish Political Review: November 2007 “Old Irish And The Market: Part Three” by John Minahane

“I see no reason why compulsory Irish in schools in its present-day form should be thought oppressive. I am in favour of maintaining it, since it offers the child some small chance of connecting with what’s in Ireland’s depths.”

*G. M Williams and Pat Muldowney as Wikipedia editors (Post 61)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:GwydionM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/Pat_Muldowney

And Malachi Lawless and Pay Muldowney as Indymedia
contributors:

http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Main/MalachiLawless

http://www.indymedia.i /newswire?author_name=Pat%20Muldowney

Just about everything I have stated about the B&ICO/Aubane group can be backed up with references.No “playing fast and loose” here.

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94. Starkadder - December 7, 2008

Slawomir:” For that reason you couldn’t mention that the letter (which you call an “article”) was *in disagreement* with the *pro-choice* views of the editor.”

Muldowney’s letter was against abortion. Case Closed.

Now, any comments on Clifford’s description of
the “reasoned” and “coherent arguments” of the world’s most
infamous Wagner fan?

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95. slawomir - December 7, 2008

You have not denied that the other misrepresentations that I have listed are indeed misrepresentations. And what’s more you have not had the decency to apologise.

You have made no comment on Nollaig’s very serious allegation regarding innuendo about the financing of the IPR group.

What is the point that you are making re: Clifford’s comment about the coherence of Hitler’s speeches? Is it your opinion that because a person’s politics are repugnant and even evil that his thought processes must necessarily be incoherent and it is somehow unacceptable to think otherwise. Is that the simple minded world that you live in?

I happen to know what Pat Muldowney’s views on abortion are. But before I discuss that, let’s hear your views. I am really fascinated to hear them. Because I have worked with people who have facilitated women in making a choice on the matter. I have never heard them say that they were “pro-abortion”. Do you think having an abortion is a “life style” choice? Are you in favour of abortion, say, after 8 months? And if you are not what exactly is your moral objection?

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96. Enquicy - December 7, 2008

Привет, я думала что это совсем не так происходит:)

——————————————-
Мой блог: http://olenvyazanie.blog.ru/

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97. Starkadder - December 8, 2008

“What is the point that you are making re: Clifford’s comment about the coherence of Hitler’s speeches? Is it your opinion that because a person’s politics are repugnant and even evil that his thought processes must necessarily be incoherent and it is somehow unacceptable to think otherwise. Is that the simple minded world that you live in?”

Clifford isn’t discussing Hitler’s thought processes, he is discussing
his speeches he made to the German public. He thus is arguing Hitler “reasoned” the Germany people into accepting hysterical racism, dictatorship, and ultimately genocide. He is arguing that Hitler’s appeals to the Germany people’s fears and insecurities are “reasoning” to people.
If we are to take Clifford seriously, we must accept such garbage as

“Just as the Jew could once incite the mob of Jerusalem against Christ, so today he must succeed in inciting folk who have been duped into madness to attack those who, God’s truth! seek to deal with this people in utter honesty and sincerity.
* speech in Munich, 28 July 1922

and

“Today I will once more be a prophet: if the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevizing of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!
* speech to the Reichstag, 30 January 1939,

These are the “reasoned” and “coherent arguments” your boss admires.

He is also putting him on a level with Lenin as a political thinker
(to the best of my knowledge, no respectable political scientist
regards Hitler as a serious political thinker, see Adams & Dyson,
Fifty Key Political Thinkers, pg.175).

And when is the Irish Political Review going to apologies for calling
Charlie Haughey’s critics “hyenas” “led by Whitehall”?

It seems the IPR crowd, can dish out the most extreme criticsim
but are unable to tolerate even the most mildest criticism of themselves and their activities.

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98. Slawomir - December 8, 2008

This is a complete waste of time. You have either ignored or refused to deal with the misrepresentations that I have raised. You are now trying to pretend that Clifford, who is not my boss, agrees with the ideas of Adolf Hitler in order to divert attention away from your misrepresentations. “We” certainly do not have to “accept” or support the ideas of Hitler because they may be presented in a “coherent” or “reasoned” way.

I don’t feel qualified to either agree or disagree with Clifford’s statement that you quoted. I haven’t studied Hitler’s speeches in detail. But I am certainly not prepared to dismiss Clifford’s statement out of hand.

If Hitler’s power of reasoning is not an explanation for convincing people to do awful things, what is the explanation? Was it all down to just physical coercion of the German people? Or are the Germans just inherently “bad and mad”?

At this stage I have said what I wanted to say and people can make up their own minds.

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99. Starkadder - December 9, 2008

I have nothing to apologise to the B&ICO/IPR group about.You are
obviously trying to bully the CLR posters.

*“The impression that Starkadder has been trying to convey is that BICO/IPR are right wing Catholics (comparing it to Hibernia etc), which is bizarre given its early advocacy of separation of Church and State.”

I know most of B&ICO/IRP aren’t right-wing Catholics, but they often support the same positions (saying the Angelus needs to be kept on TV, etc.), In the same way, George Galloway isn’t a conservative Muslim, but he often supports the interests of Conservative Muslims in Britain.

*“This brings me to another routine misrepresentation: your allegation that the IPR group is a “cult” and your satirical point that it is a “herd of independent minds”.
I said it had some of the characteristics of a “political cult”.

Why does Athol Books vilify former B&ICO members who disagreed with the organization then, like the members of the
Cork Workers’ Club (see the dig at them in Clifford’s “Economics of Partition”), or John Lloyd? Isn’t that cult-like behaviour?

Why do all the IRP writers have the exact same opinions on everything from Trotskyism to Garrett Fitzgerald to the Israelis?
Isn’t that more cult like behaviour?

*“So whatever we might think now about homosexuality, the showing of these diaries to important people (e.g. Woodrow Wilson) prior to Casement’s execution was not designed to encourage a more enlightened view of the subject. It was an attempt to undermine worldwide opposition to his execution.”

True, and and a disgraceful act by the British government. But it doesn’t mean the diaries are forgeries. And it doesn’t magic away the fact most “Casement forgery” theorists are conservative Roman Catholics. And the Black Diaries are the only hard
evidence we have of Casement’s homosexuality-hence the forgery theorists (such as most of the IRP’s writers) are intent on “disproving Roger Casement’s homosexuality”,

“You have made no comment on Nollaig’s very serious allegation regarding innuendo about the financing of the IPR group.”

That was a simple statement of fact. It IS unusual for a small political press started in the 1970s,with high
print runs (Clifford said in that second editon of “Economics
of Partition” that the pamphlet had sold 5000 copies) to be continuing to publish in 2008.

(When was the last time you read something by
The CPI (ML) or Revolutionary Struggle’s press?) .

You are reading things into my posts that aren’t there.

*“Is it your opinion that because a person’s politics are repugnant and even evil that his thought processes must necessarily be incoherent and it is somehow unacceptable to think otherwise. Is that the simple minded world that you live in?”

Interesting description of Der Fuhrer there, as “even evil”. Clifford is mistaking the crude demagoguery of Hitler for serious political philosophy, and saying manipulating people’s fears and prejudices is the same “as reasoning” with them. I object to Clifford taking
such a murderous cretin seriously as a political thinker. And I said nothing about Hitler’s thought processes being incoherent-sadly for ten million people, they took hideously coherent form.

”But I am certainly not prepared to dismiss Clifford’s statement out of hand.”

I suspect the Irish left might have been more successful if everything Clifford wrote had been dismissed out of hand.

BTW,do you still believe it is acceptable to refer to critics of
Charles Haughey as “hyenas”, “And O’Toole, in his Savanarola act, is unquestionably bananas.,” “envious petty bourgeoisie”,”not democratic” (IRP,July 2006) etc.? You’re hardly on the moral high ground here.

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100. WorldbyStorm - December 9, 2008

The Hitler issue is quite interesting. It’s possible to accept that Hitler was clever in certain ways in many respects without believing him in any real sense to be a political philosopher of any seriousness – as any reading of Mein Kampf will indicate. For examples his thoughts on the origins and conceptual aspects of the imagery of Nazism are entirely logical, albeit fairly shallow, but the framework within which they’re set is clearly profoundly illogical and anti-rational (something he might even see as a ‘good’ thing). But to compare him, say to Lenin (and I’m far from a huge fan of the latter), even in passing is odd in the extreme. I seem to recall the memories of a British observer at one of Hitler’s speeches who said that while the content was nothing to write home about the manner in which it was delivered was electrifying. Sounds about right.

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101. Slawomir - December 12, 2008

It is very noticeable, Starkadder that you do not appear to be able to engage with ideas on a political level. I asked you to elaborate on some of your “pro-abortion” views and you haven’t replied. Corkman expected you to do the same for the IPR article on Haughey which he reproduced and you were struck dumb. All you can come up with our words such as “hyenas” that you don’t like. But you can’t deal with any of the substantial political points.

You are like one of those lay Catholic censors of the 1950s who scoured library books for evidence of “filth” regardless of context in order to denounce. In your case you seem to have a collection of “socialist pieties” in your head and you have scoured BICO/IPR publications going back in some cases more than 20 years for evidence of sin against these pieties. It is quite pathetic.

The more you write, the more you tie yourself in knots. You say that the Black Diaries are the only hard evidence that we have of Casement’s homosexuality. Does that statement not give you pause for thought about their authenticity? Casement was a public figure with many enemies. And yet the only source for his homosexuality comes from the British State.

I don’t know anything about the political affiliations of the Casement Society beyond their admiration of the great Irish patriot. I take their arguments on their merits and find them convincing. The implication that people who believe that the so called Black Diaries are forgeries are necessarily anti-homosexual is bizarre.

I’m glad you accept that the action of the British State in showing the diaries to various people was disgraceful. But how much more disgraceful, if the diaries were forgeries especially since they contain far more than homosexual acts!

It is also very noticeable that you seem to have an almost endless capacity for gossip. Gossip plays a big part in your political arguments (e.g. “Casement forgery theorists are conservative Roman Catholics”).

In this thread (I don’t have to go back 20 years) we have the following examples of gossip from you:

“19. I read somewhere that Brendan Clifford in the 70s used to write the entire contents of the “Worker’s Weekly” in a cafe in Belfast…

“26. Jack Lane and Manus O’Riordan are currently writing letters to the Irish Examiner criticising the attempts to commenorate the Irish WWI soldiers. While I have sympathies with not wanting to glorify UK rule in Ireland, maybe someone should write in and spill the beans on their B&ICO pasts? (Jack Lane still writes to the Irish Examiner even though he published a book attacking that same newspaper. What a hypocrite!).

“49…On a side note, didn’t one of the Republicans (Derry Kelleher) have his own private press as well? I remember the Cork Library saying most of Kelleher’s work was published by an outfit called Justice Books.

“61. Back to B&ICO for a minutre Two B&ICO linked men- Pat Muldowney and Gwydion M. Williams –are contributors to Wikipedia. As I understand it Muldowney and Malachi Lawless, another IPR writer, also work on Indymedia.ie as well.

“67 BTW, anarchaeologist, do you know what Chekov Feeney is doing nowadays? I heard he left Indymedia.”

WBS, it is your business how debate is conducted on this site. Do you have a problem with anonymous contributors purveying and soliciting gossip about named individuals (and not just BICO/IPR individuals)?

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102. Starkadder - December 12, 2008

“WBS, it is your business how debate is conducted on this site. Do you have a problem with anonymous contributors purveying and soliciting gossip about named individuals (and not just BICO/IPR individuals)?”

Are you trying to threaten CLR posters, especially ones who can back up all their points?

“(Jack Lane still writes to the Irish Examiner even though he published a book attacking that same newspaper. What a hypocrite!).”
Yes, Jack Lane did publish a book attacking the Irish Examiner.
“Elizabeth Bowen: a ‘debate’ in the Irish Examiner, edited by Jack Lane.

( Back to B&ICO for a minutre Two B&ICO linked men- Pat Muldowney and Gwydion M. Williams –are contributors to Wikipedia. As I understand it Muldowney and Malachi Lawless, another IPR writer, also work on Indymedia.ie as well.)

Yes, and the references to prove this point are in post 93.

You are a bully, Slawomir. You are a bully who is trying to silence
all criticism of the Aubane Historical Society and the Irish Political
Review.

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103. WorldbyStorm - December 12, 2008

slawomir, let’s not forget that you too are anonymous. As long as there is nothing libelous said and/or it does not impinge on the guidelines already stated I’d say that what Starkadder, or indeed your good self, is doing is fair comment. If any of those who are involved have a problem they have my email address. I’ve noted previously that I agree with you that on the abortion issue there was no compunction on Pat Muldowney to say anything and in that respect Starkadder was wrong. But for the rest?

This is discussion about political positions taken across decades. Exactly the same sort of discussion is conducted about other parties and groupings and events. And it is relevant in so far as the IPR/AHS appears to have taken not merely positions in direct contradiction to earlier ones, which as you say is not entirely unique, but to couch them in a sort of language which is typical of their earlier pronouncements that dances on the edge of frankly quite strange stuff which one can only construe as being willfully provocative (consider again the comparison of Hitler as giving speeches with a political content on a par with Lenin).

To my mind, it’s an absurdity to suggest there is something malign or sinister about Starkadders questions or comments regarding the public activities of IPR or other related individuals. He may not be their biggest fan but that’s a different issue. I too would hope, for instance, that all is well with Chekov Feeney and I also hope that he’s active. If Starkadder said something about their private actions – well then I’d intervene.

When people act publicly in respect to political positions then I think that’s entirely reasonably a source of interest. Particularly in the context of a group like BICO and it’s successors which has – and despite your sterling defence – quite evidently changed its position radically over decades.

In any case, what on earth is the point of the IPR and AHS putting forward opinions into the public space and having its members make pronouncements on precisely these matters if you don’t want a) a response and b) some engagement?

Either you want engagement and debate, or you don’t. But in this day and age it is inevitable that others will question and critique.

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104. ejh - December 12, 2008

your satirical point that it is a “herd of independent minds”.

Ha, I missed that before. Very good.

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105. Starkadder - December 12, 2008

For the record,

a) I believe abortion should be legal and available to
any woman that needs it,

b) Charles Joseph Haughey was the worst Prime Minister the Republic of Ireland ever had-

*a man who embezzled money to buy luxury
goods while preaching “belt-tightening”,

*a hypocrite on morality-a man who made a personal message on the importance of the traditional family during the divorce referendum-after returning from an extra-martial liasion with Terry Keane (something the infamous IRP editorial dismisses as living in the “Continental manner”-but Haughey championed Christian morality in public while breaking one of its key rules in private.Either
Haughey should have not committed adultey, or else he should have
been less dogmatic on the divorce issue).

*A hypocrite on NI-he opposed the Anglo-Irish Agreement in opposition but worked it in government in the late 1980s. Thus
Haughey was continued the “Inference” and “polarisation” the IPR editoral complains that Fitzgerald and Spring caused.

c) Roger Casement was a promiscuous homosexual, and many (though not all) of the Casement forgery theorists are unhappy with
the idea of an Irish nationalist hero behaving like this-I suspect this
would not be an issue if Casment were a Dutch or French nationalist
hero.

P.S.Can we look forward to an article in the Irish Political Review
calling us all “West Brits” and “Stickies” ?

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106. Slawomir - December 12, 2008

Starkadder,
a) You haven’t answered my question on abortion. Do you believe that it is okay for a woman to have an abortion after 8 months?

b) The vast bulk of Haughey’s wealth was based on private donations. I don’t see how this can be called embezzlement. Haughey took a position on divorce in the specific circumstances of 1986. As anyone who participated in this referendum will remember there were other issues besides Catholic morality. There was also the issue of property rights.

I don’t see how having an affair is anyone’s business apart from those directly involved. He never looked for a divorce for himself. For someone who appears to be anti-Catholic you adopt a very high moral tone in relation to the sexual foibles of others. There is nothing at all incompatible with having an affair and being against divorce. Indeed, quite the opposite.

On Northern Ireland there has to be continuity in affairs of State. The point is that Haughey did not exacerbate sectarian tensions.

c) You are entitled to your view on the authenticity of the Black diaries. But if you believe in them, you must also accept that not only was Casement a promiscuous homosexual, but also a paedophile and exploiter of young men in the third world.

On your P.S. I doubt it.

WBS,
I did not call for suppression of debate as you seem to imply. I asked you a question at the end of my post (101) and you have answered it.

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107. Starkadder - December 12, 2008

[Starkadder,
[a) You haven’t answered my question on abortion. Do you believe that it is okay for a woman to have an abortion after 8 months?]

I fail to see how this is relevant,but no,it isn’t.

[b) The vast bulk of Haughey’s wealth was based on private donations. I don’t see how this can be called embezzlement.]

There was the unfortunate matter of the money for Brian
Lenihan, which Saint Charlie took cash from the medical fund
to spend on himself (T. Ryle Dwyer refers to
a surplus of £71,000 missing from the medical funds). And the
simple fact is Haughey abused his position as an Irish Politician
to increase his own wealth and power (threatening AIB when the
they asked him to honour his debts in 1976) taking
private donations from people like Ben Dunne.And doing nothing
to improve the lot of the ordinary Irish person (look at the disgusting way he treated the hemophiliacs in 1989!).

[There is nothing at all incompatible with having an affair and being against divorce. Indeed, quite the opposite.]

So,Do you think it is okay for an Irish Prime Minister to lie in public
about his support for the traditional family and the Catholic Church’s
moral teachings-and that such teachings should be retained
within the Irish Constituiton-whie disobeying them in
private? At least Bertie Ahern was honest about his less-than-De Valeran martial state.

Do you think wealthy Irish nationalists should be exempt
from the teachings of the religion they aggressive champion? Are
you aware that after the divorce referendum was lost in 1986
(thanks in part to Haughey’s position), the Ulster Unionists said it proved the “sectarian” nature of the Irish Republic?

Do you believe it acceptable for certain married men (Like Haughey) to have sexual congress with other Women without the consent of their wives-and the wife should not even have the option of divorcing the Unfaithful husband either?Are these ideas
“not incompatible”? It’s not just Catholics who would find Haughey’s martial behaviour objectionable,as you imply.

Interesting morality you have,Slawomir.
A Touch of Nietzsche or Carlyle in the IPR’s attitude to Kinsealy’s not-so-great man.

I have also mentioned three times that the Irish Political Review referred to people who disagree with their opinions as “Hyenas”
“Not democratic”, “bananas”(mentally ill) and other insulting epithets.

In the course of this thread, you have also ordered me to apologise for criticizing the B&ICO/IPR group and have called me
“Simple-minded” (Post 95),a “censor”, a “gossip” and dismissed
detailed researches into a the past and development of a political organization as “pathetic”. (Post 101).

I have often discussed the B&ICO & IPR on the CDL,along
without groups-some people have disagreed with my opinions on them,some who supported their past or current positions, but none of them had ever accused me of “misrepresentation” or hurled cheap insults at me. Indeed, most of them were fairly polite and we had interesting discussions.

I was wondering if I had gone too far in accusing you of being
a bully, but your behaviour simply confirms it.

I don’t like a publication with aspirations to respectability
(Political Review)
calling people it disagrees with “hyenas” (God knows, even
people I very strongly disagree with,like RDE and Harris don’t deserve it!)-it coarsens the discourse of Irish politics to use such playground bully language. It was unacceptable when the ’90s Sunday Independent did it, and it is equally unacceptable when the Irish Political Review does it.

It’s like arguing with a Scientologist. .

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108. slawomir - December 13, 2008

a) Well at least we can agree on one point. We’re against abortion after 8 months. The relevance is that Pat Muldowney is also against abortion after 8 months. The purpose of his letter all those years ago was that – rightly or wrongly – he felt that by comparing a human foetus to a rabbit foetus the ultimate logic of Church & State’s position was that abortion was justified up until full term. Pat Muldowney is not “very anti-abortion” as you claimed. It was a misrepresentation.

b) I don’t remember Haughey aggressively championing Catholic Morality. Growing up in the 1970s I remember Haughey as being a liberal in relative terms. He was criticised for introducing the “Irish solution to an Irish problem”. But this made it easier for Barry Desmond to liberalise the law in 1985. The demand for contraception was on the political agenda following the McGee judgment in 1974. But nothing was done about it by the Labour/FG coalition government of 1973 – 1977.

Regarding his treatment of women, he introduced the Succession act in the 1960s which gave some protection for women whose husbands wanted to leave their money to the Church (or mistresses).

I am really impressed by your high moral tone. For example:

“Do you believe it acceptable for certain married men (Like Haughey) to have sexual congress with other Women without the consent of their wives …”.

I really like the “sexual congress” bit. A nice touch! But in answer to your question I don’t think it is my business. I am not a priest or a “cultist”. I believe divorce should be made available, but as to what goes on in specific marriages, I don’t want to know. Incidentally, I don’t believe divorce should be contingent on proving the unfaithfulness of the husband or wife.

Regarding the Lenihan liver transplant, it is largely a private matter between the Lenihan family, the Haugheys and the private donors. I know Conor Lenihan has said publicly that the Lenihans appreciated Haughey’s effort to set up the fund in the first place.

c) You seem to have gone all quiet on the Casement Diaries?

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109. Gomez - December 16, 2008

Starkadder:
“BTW,do you still believe it is acceptable to refer to critics of
Charles Haughey as “hyenas”, “And O’Toole, in his Savanarola act, is unquestionably bananas.,” “envious petty bourgeoisie”,”not democratic” (IRP,July 2006) etc.?”

Sadly, Starkadder, that’s far from the most objectionable thing the
Irish Political Review has printed. From the December 2004 editorial
“Crusading Against Evil”:

http://www.atholbooks.org/archives/pastipr/dec04.php

**….the case of Margaret Hassan excited more disgust: was she not dedicated to the welfare of the Iraqi people? But the matter was more complicated than appeared. Margaret Hassan had worked for the British Council in Iraq before the 1991 war, and subsequently she became Director of Care in Iraq. The British Council is a propaganda organisation of the British State committed to furthering its interests world-wide. Care is a “non Governmental Organisation” engaged in charitable works. But, during the 1990s, it came to rely very heavily on Government funding. The chief contributor of its multi-million budget is the United States Government, with the British Government running a close second. Contributions from charitably-inclined members of the public now account for only a fraction of its huge budget. It is now a state-funded body, and it is therefore natural that it should render services to the States which fund it. And those services are rendered in areas where the states themselves are regarded with hostility.
A few years ago Care was found to have engaged in espionage activities on behalf of the United States in Kossovo. Despite that, and despite the refusal of Care as an organisation to condemn the present invasion of Iraq, Margaret Hassan continued in active membership. She condemned the invasion, but that was only a personal gesture. The organisation whose activities in Iraq she directed tacitly supported the invasion, engaged in normalising activities under the Occupation, and refused to withdraw when the Iraqi resistance indicated that all such activity would be treated as hostile.**

This is just wrong!

Hassan’s activities included teaching English in Iraq with the British Council,(a diplomatic group,like the German Goethe Institute) and she lost her BC job after the Gulf War in 1991.
She gave medicine to sick Iraqi children in 1998.She was also critical
Of the UN sanctions against Iraq.Before her abduction, she was
working in a clinic to treat Iraqis with spinal injuries.
Of course she was dedicated to the welfare of the Iraqi people!

CARE runs
pro-feminist And anti-poverty programs across the world as well as charity activities-Hassan’s death forced them out of Iraq.

And note how the IPR dismisses Hassan’s own strong opposition to the Iraq War as a “personal gesture”,and CARE’s charity work for
injured Iraqi civilians are denounced as “normalising activities”.

(A brutal tyrant and a bloody US_UK invasion will do a lot to de-normalise the medical care of any society)

Hundreds of ordinary Iraqis protested against her kidnapping-I suppose they were all dupes of “Ameranglia” as well?

That well-known apologist for Anglo-American imperialism Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin stated about Hassan’s death:

“Her cruel captivity and death serve no cause.Her dedicated service to and embrace of the Iraqi people for over 30 years only emphasises the outrage of her murder.”

http://www.anphoblacht.com/news/detail/7436

The result of Hassan’s execution was to worsen the plight of civilians
In Iraq zones as the aid agencies pulled out. (And note, we still don’t know who killed Hassan,or what their motive was).

This IPR editorial is quite disturbing, in its attempts to smear a deceased charity worker as an assistant of Anglo-American imperialism. I would say any magazine that publishes an editorial
(and not just an article by a single author,which would be bad
enough) like this needs serious questions asked about it.

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110. WorldbyStorm - December 16, 2008

On a slightly less tragic note, there’s the story of the helpful young Russian functionary in St. Petersburg who in the early 90s was central to setting up a British Council office there. Sadly more recently he was central to ensuring it was shut down again… His name? Vladimir Putin…

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111. Dunne and Crescendo - December 17, 2008

Look the IPR supported the Hutu in Rwanda as well. And Hitler didn’t start the Second World War. And German imperialism before 1914 wasn’t even imperialism. And lately the Jews were entirely innocent victims of the Nazis because the Balfour Declaration made them a hostile nation or something. Someone said earlier that when they see the IPR championing Irish nationalist causes they say ‘welcome home’. I say whats the catch? And what agenda is now at play?

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112. Slawomir - December 18, 2008

I note that Gomez has not disputed the main facts in the article:

a) Care’s chief donor is the United States Government followed by the British Government

b) It was involved in spying in Kosovo.

c) Care as an organisation did not oppose the invasion, whatever about what individual Care workers thought.

Gomez disagrees with the IPR about the role of the British Council. Whatever about what Putin thought in the 1990s I doubt that the Russian dispute with the British Council in 2008 was about Shakespeare. The British Council is the organisation involved in promoting the wearing of the poppy in this country as a means of promoting a British imperialist view of the First World War. Remembrance Day (or is it week) commemorates British Soldiers who have died in all British Wars. That includes the Black and Tan War.

Imperialism has never been just about bombs and guns. It has always had its ideological wing (missionaries and assorted do-gooders) to sweeten the pill. In recent years it has tagged on progressives such as feminists to justify military invasion of Afghanistan (it couldn’t do that for Iraq because that country was largely secular and it was the invasion that released Islamic fundamentalist tendencies).

I don’t know what point Gomez is trying to make by saying:

“(A brutal tyrant and a bloody US_UK invasion will do a lot to de-normalise the medical care of any society)”

If Sadaam Husein is supposed to be the “brutal tyrant”, he can hardly be blamed for “de-normalising” medical care. He built up a decent health care system before the first Gulf War. The responsibility for “de-normalising” the health system rests with the forces of Anglo-American imperialism and their allies. “De-normalisation” (what a polite word!) did not result just from the 2003 invasion, but also the sanctions after the First Gulf War which according to Fred Halliday of the United Nations resulted in the death of up to 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of 5.

The death of Margaret Hassan was a personal tragedy for her family, but it does not negate her role in the apparatus of Anglo-American imperialism in Iraq

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113. PJ Callan - December 18, 2008

At post 93 – “Praise of Hitler’s “coherent arguments” is still praise of Hitler”

No one comes to power in any country except as the representative of one class or another. For the German bourgeoisie nazism was certainly “coherent” as it expressed their specific class interests.

You are clutching at straws if you think that the recognition of this fact constitutes “praise of Hitler”

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114. Gomez - December 18, 2008

“Slawomir:
“b) It (CARE) was involved in spying in Kosovo.”

This is a serious allegation:do you have a citation for it? There’s none
in the IPR editorial (bad journalism-to make a serious charge
against a group without a reference to proof of it).

The article also gives the implication that Hassan was killed by the
the “Iraqi resistance”-“the Iraqi resistance indicated that all such activity would be treated as hostile.”

In fact, as of December 2008, we still don’t know the full circumstances of Hassan’s death. Even
a member of the “Iraqi resistance” , the Al-Qaeda
member Abu Musab Zarqawi,called for her release.

There’s also the argument that a group giving medical aid in a disaster area becomes an active act of imperialism if the money comes from a state government.

Does the IRP’s criticism of CARE’s funding (US-UK) apply to say, Saudi or Chinese-funded charities as well?

I accept your regret over Hassan’s death,but no such sentiments
are present in the actual IPR article,about either Hassan or
Ken Bigley’s deaths.

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115. Slawomir - December 18, 2008

Gomez,

I didn’t write the article so I can’t say what information the author had re: spying. But a quick search of the internet reveals the following:

http://www2.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/ACOS-64BFDA?OpenDocument

I’m interested in the following comment:

“There’s also the argument that a group giving medical aid in a disaster area becomes an active act of imperialism if the money comes from a state government.
Does the IRP’s criticism of CARE’s funding (US-UK) apply to say, Saudi or Chinese-funded charities as well?”

With respect that is a curious use of words: “disaster area”? The area is a “disaster” because it has been pounded by the forces of Anglo-American imperialism with the weaponry at their disposal.

I have no objection in principle to an American, Saudi or Chinese Government funded charity giving medical aid in the case of a natural disaster. The appropriate conduit for medical aid in a war situation is the Red Cross or Red Crescent.

It appears that an element of the Iraqi resistance was responsible for the death of Hassan (if you believe it was the Americans or British I would like to see your references). I neither support nor condemn the killing of Hassan. It is not up to me to tell the Iraqis how they should conduct their legitimate struggle against imperialism in their country.

Finally, I respect your anonymity. I cannot do otherwise since I am anonymous. But what is the reason for your interest in this subject?

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116. Paddy Crerand - December 18, 2008

Up the Hutu. Up David Irving. UP the Kaiser. UP the killers of Robert McCartney. Up the IPR, viva, viva IPR, the best thing to come out of Athol Street since Workers Weekly, viva viva IPR, Angela and Brendan, Jack and Pat, all revising their past and giving us crap, viva viva IPR.
A Christmas tune. (Knees up Mother Brown).

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117. WorldbyStorm - December 18, 2008

That’s a bit coat-trailing slawomir to enquire as to whether gomez has a specific interest. So what if s/he did, or doesn’t. I don’t and I think the IPR line is unpleasant and barmy, particularly the idea that Margaret Hassan had any functional – nice dehumanising phrase this too – “role in the apparatus of Anglo-American imperialism in Iraq”.

PJ, it may not be praise but it’s certainly moving towards an intellectual position that is suspect. If, that is, it hasn’t already arrived. Again – and I’m not addressing this to you – , the idea that Hitler was the intellectual equal of Lenin? Gimme a break.

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118. PJ Callan - December 19, 2008

He wasnt close to VI in intellectual terms but the content of his ideas expressed in exact form the aspirations of the most reactionary section of the German bourgeoisie. I dont think the statement in any way is “moving towards” anything like support for Hitler.

As far as I know B Clifford does not pretend to be a communist these days but others connected with IPR have written about reviving the Bolshevik tradition.

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119. sara - July 3, 2009

good info

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120. TUV Leader Jim Allister Lies About Rasharkin Attack to 'Out-Fenian' DUP - Page 13 - Politics.ie - October 6, 2009

[...] Irish Communist Organization. Basically the brains behind Unionism/Revisionism in the 26 counties. The Irish Left Archive: Workers Weekly,Workers Association, British and Irish Communist Organisation… So can you recommend any good Unionist histories of the origin of the [...]

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121. Irish Left Archive: Northern Ireland – For Workers’ Unity: A reply to the Workers’ Association Pamphlet [BICO] “What’s wrong with Ulster Trade Unionism”, Militant, c. « The Cedar Lounge Revolution - December 13, 2010

[...] are some Workers Association leaflets already in the Archive. The analysis in the Militant document provides [...]

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122. Anton - September 18, 2011

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