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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week April 3, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

Public enemy number 1 this week is Michael D. Higgins, for the content of his speeches on the 1916 centenary.

Eilis O’Hanlon:

He couldn’t let this opportunity pass, however, without seeking to put his own stamp on the event. Not speaking for the nation, as a President should do, but speaking for Michael D, specifically for Michael D’s analysis of the nation’s ills. It all began with a call for Britain to reassess its “supremacist and militarist imperialism”, which was curious enough in itself.

Maybe Britain should, but it was akin to using a golden wedding anniversary love letter to your wife to have a go at your ex.

She attacks him for not being as proud of the state as a French president on Bastille Day or an American one on 4th July. But goes on to complain about him not confronting the Rising’s endorsement of bloodshed. Perhaps someone should have a quiet word with her about the nature of the French and American revolutions. And wasn’t 1916 about a divorce from a forced marriage and not a golden anniversary?

Eoghan Harris is also outraged at Michael D.’s call to look more closely at the nature of British imperialism.

The President’s sniping at “imperialism” was clearly an attempt to balance criticism of Pearse by a handful of revisionists.

But it actually only forces the following conclusion: if Redmond can be charged with supporting British imperialism, then Pearse is equally guilty of supporting German imperialism.

And if we’re going down that road, Redmond picked a better imperialism, as witness the Royal Navy’s struggle against slavery.
In contrast, the Kaiser’s empire butchered 6,000 Belgian civilians, was the first to bomb cities, and the first to use gas in battle.

Apparently there are no examples of brutality and massacres by the British empire, just the campaign against slavery, nearly 100 years before 1916.


1. Phil - April 3, 2016

That argument from Harris is extraordinary. He seems to be heading for outright unionism – all-island unionism at that. Forward to 1801! Seriously, it’s an awful warning of what can happen when you let your politics be shaped by sectarian rivalry.

Liked by 1 person

2. CMK - April 3, 2016

While not a republican or a nationalist I am really getting pissed off at the relentless attacks on the Rising and, in particular, the outlandish notion, shared to a man and woman by members of the establishment, that it was somehow ‘undemocratic’, with the inference being that the British Empire was some sort of legitimate political entity.

But addressing Harris’ last point, about the ‘benign’ nature of British imperialism, I did about 15 minutes googling and came up with the following, by no means exhaustive, list of outrages from that empire in the 20 years leading up to the Rising:

– between 6.1 and 8.4 million dead from famine in India
– 80,000-100,000 dead in the second Boer war including 22,000 civilians who died in British concentration camps
– 3000 dead in the fifth Ashanti war in what is now Ghana
– several hundred civilians shot to death in Lhasa in Tibet by a British intervention force.

Harris, O’Hanlon and the rest of them are dishonourable creeps who lie consistently about imperialism.

Then, of course, we have gallant little Belgium, for whom Redmond had tens of thousands of Irish lives wasted: that country’s Congolese colony saw up to 10 million dead in the decades to WW1.

Britian has never faced up to the racist blood stained nature of its empire which wasn’t all about cricket, railways and afternoon tea.

Liked by 7 people

Jim Monaghan - April 3, 2016

“Then, of course, we have gallant little Belgium, for whom Redmond had tens of thousands of Irish lives wasted: that country’s Congolese colony saw up to 10 million dead in the decades to WW1.”

I would guess the archive of the UK and Belgium would not show any appeals for clemency for Casement, quite the reverse.


Starkadder - April 3, 2016

“While not a republican or a nationalist I am really getting pissed off at the relentless attacks on the Rising and, in particular, the outlandish notion, shared to a man and woman by members of the establishment, that it was somehow ‘undemocratic’, with the inference being that the British Empire was some sort of legitimate political entity.”

Yeah, all this stuff about a “mandate” is absurd. Do they really think 1916 rebels should have gone house to house in rural Ireland asking, “Hello. We’d like to ask your opinion on whether we should mount an armed rebellion against the British Empire?” 🙂

Because O’Hanlon, Harris, Dudley Edwards etc. all worship nations with big armies, they never ask if George Washington
and Thomas Jefferson had a “mandate”, or if the Irgun had a “mandate”.


gendjinn - April 3, 2016

All in the Irish media have an eye on the brighter lights of the UK and USA. And therefore know who requires criticism and why.

If they don’t their owners soon set them straight.


Starkadder - April 3, 2016

I wonder will that become “the brighter lights of China
or Japan” in a few years time?


gendjinn - April 3, 2016

The wogs begin at Calais, dear boy. The colonials are only barely tolerable.

Speaking of China – have you read about the massive exodus of those with money, or at least the stashing of their families overseas? It’s almost as if most of the rich Chinese are getting ready to bolt. The ecological horror show that is China – the ecological catastrophe that is the “water” filling up behind Three Gorges dam. The solar panel, tetraflouride dumping.


EWI - April 3, 2016

The republican and socialist traditions in this country are a barrier to, among other things, involvement in NATO. And therefore have to go.


3. CL - April 3, 2016

What the President said that got Harris upset:

“When we decide to address the issue of violence, let us speak of the violence of empire, the violence of state, the violence of insurrection,..

Having spent decades revising nationalism, where is the evidence that there is as much energy put into addressing the issue of empire?”

Soon the carnage of the Somme will be remembered. Higgins is right to mention that the blood-drenched history of the empire supported by Harris, Redmond and John Bruton should be examined.

‘On its colonies the sun never set, but the blood never dried’. -Ernest Jones, Chartist.

Liked by 1 person

4. roddy - April 3, 2016

Harris is not “heading” for all out unionism at all.He reached that point over 35 years ago.


5. EWI - April 3, 2016

*Cough* Amritsar *Cough*

French and Maxwell had already established their credentials as butchers for the Empire in places like Egypt, India and South Africa long before they got to Ireland, of course.

There was a disgusting piece in the Irish Times a while back, indulging a descendant of Maxwell opining that he (the relative only imagined, it turned out) would have felt reluctance at mowing his way through uppity natives in Dublin.


6. PJ1977 - April 3, 2016

Meanwhile there’s a lad in the SBP ( Enda O’Coineen – me neither) running for the Senate who reckons ‘we’ve got an almost communist feel to how the country operates’.

Which implies the left has made a bit more progress than I was aware of.

Liked by 3 people

Starkadder - April 3, 2016

I eagerly await the announcement of Michael Martin’s first
Five Year Plan.🙂

Liked by 1 person

7. Starkadder - April 3, 2016

On another topic, that fine TV series “The Night Manager” causes
Nick Cohen to attack that regular target of the Euston Manifesto
brigage, John Le Carre:

Le Carré has the vices of the old conservative British establishment, and not just in his Jew obsession. He resents the American empire usurping British power and leaving us as its poodle, and engages in a quasi-colonial denial of the autonomy of the peoples of the poor world.

…The sadness of it all is that ever since the attempt to murder Salman Rushdie we have been engaged in intelligence and real wars. Yet as far as fiction is concerned, the enemy might as well not exist. Hundreds, probably thousands, of writers have taken le Carré’s road, and explained it away by describing the evils of the West and the cliques in the CIA and MI6. Whatever truths they utter, I cannot escape the feeling that they are cowards.

What planet is Cohen on? The airwaves are full of TV shows with
Middle Eastern villains which largely exonorate the West -look at “Tyrant” or “Homeland”.


Starkadder - April 3, 2016
Michael Carley - April 3, 2016

Cohen pours scorn on the idea of the state being corrupted by arms dealers:

He is persuaded to fight it by an honest spy, who teaches him tradecraft, but instead finds he must fight Western corporations and governments whose cynicism knows no limits. In the case of The Night Manager, the reason, of course, why the British government is unconcerned by illegal weapons sales is that MI6 is in the pay of the villainous arms dealer.

Time was he would have remember this



8. EWI - April 3, 2016

Brendan O’Connor says that we must stop remembering 1916.

Honestly, Connolly and Clarke would welcome the laurels that is the hatred of the likes of the Irish Times, the Irish Independent and the Daily Mail (where arch-crawler ‘Sir’ Bob Geldof gets another outing today to tell middle England about how the 1916 Irish rebels were just like jihadis).


9. CL - April 3, 2016

Somewhat surprisingly Ireland’s First Lady Sabina Higgins’ attack on contemporary capitalism and its ’empire of greed’ has so far escaped criticism.

“In echoes of President Higgins severe critique of neoliberal capitalism in New York late last year, Ms. Higgins said she hoped people would become “inspired” and “enfired” by the heroes of 1916 to meet the challenges of our time.
Speaking at Glasnevin cemetery at the graveside of the heroes of 1916, Ms. Higgins described how “Connolly and Countess Constance Markievicz and others realised there was no hope for the workers unless they could break with [the] empire and they decided to strike for freedom to organise to have a revolution.”



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