A morning in Cricklewood with the Irish Times

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26/01/2016 by socialistfight

Or Four Reactionaries Guaranteed to Piss You Off.

Jeez, you would think they would get his name right!

By Gerry Downing

I have just spent an hour or so reading the Irish Times. Whenever I do this I am reduced to incoherent rage but this time I’ll try to articulate.


Janan Ganesh, the Financial Times Tory Sophos, writes an appalling attack on Jeremy Corbyn full of outright lies and distortions finishing with: “even at their worst as a lobby group for established wealth, something can be said for Conservatives: they like the people they are trying to help (themselves and established wealth, obviously – GD). Ukip has a future as long as ‎Labour is run by people who embrace everything about the working class apart from what they say, do and think.” He is basically complaining that Labour under Corbyn is not racist, bigoted and anti-immigrant enough to overcome the alienation of “working-class whites”.

A theory that might seem reasonable as it is repeated often enough in the mass media except that actual by election results in Oldham West and Thanet council ward where the Ukip and BNP votes collapsed and the ridiculously named “white working class” (a class is defined by its role in the production of wealth, not the colour of its skin or anything else) voted for Corbyn because he offered an alternative to blaming immigrants; blaming the Tory ruling class. It works and will work as long as Labour controlled local councils are not seen as simply capitalist stooges.

Struggle of the ‘poor white Briton’ is overlooked by Corbyn’s Labour is the outrageous title of the piece.

Felix Larkin, revisionist historian

On to more outrage. That tosser from hell by the name of Professor Felix Larkin (surely no descendent), a retired public servant who will speak on FX Martin and the 1916 Rising in St Mary’s Church, Haddington Road, Dublin on Thursday at 7pm (picket it!)  explained in theological detail why the 1916 revolution was evil. ‎He finishes with: “in this context (that of the conflict between good and evil with no mention of food, shelter and clothing or the struggles of the oppressed in general against their oppressors- GD) we must face up to the awkward reality that “altruistic evil” may be an apt description for the Easter Rising”.

In 2014 there was a government  proposal to invite a British royal to attend the 1916 commemoration. It was met with massive outrage and dropped. A few letters appeared in the Irish Times and these let us see where opinions stood between those who still held some self-esteem and national pride about the 1916 lost revolution and those who cynically sneered at it like Felix Larkin:

A royal presence in Dublin for 2016?

Tue, May 13, 2014, 01:13

Sir, – I concur with Prof Diarmaid Ferriter’s view regarding the apparent unease of Government at commemorating our revolutionary past (“Ordinary lives best define our revolutionary decade”, Opinion & Analysis, May 9th).

I believe the Government decision to invite British royalty to the centenary commemoration of the 1916 Rising is a deliberate attempt to use the glamour and cult of celebrity monarchy to distract public attention away from the ideology and ideals of the women and men of 1916. Instead of a sovereign people, we have sovereign debt. Instead of a spiritual nation, we have a spiritual wasteland. Instead of talking about an agenda of sovereignty, equality and decolonisation, we will be talking about who shook whose hand and what people were wearing.

The current political elite wants to avoid comparisons between its shabby and bankrupt political ideology and the ideals of the leaders of 1916.

What has Enda Kenny in common with Patrick Pearse other than they were both school teachers and both owned houses in Mayo? How does Eamonn Gilmore’s ideology measure up to that of James Connolly?

Our current political leaders don’t want comparisons drawn between themselves and the 1916 leaders, they don’t want to talk about their ideology and beliefs and they don’t want to talk about why the noble objectives of the Proclamation have not been attained in 100 years of independence. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6W.

Sir, – In debating the pros and cons of a royal presence at the commemoration of the Easter Rising in 2016, don’t we need to consider extending an invitation to a representative of the House of Hohenzollern in view of the reference in the 1916 Proclamation to “our gallant allies in Europe”? – Yours, etc,


Vale View Lawn,


Dublin 18.

Sir, – Diarmuid Ferriter’s opinion piece of May 9th was a welcome relief from the latest attempt to rewrite history.

Whatever our present relationship with England, the fact is that we had hundreds of years of wars and oppression by a foreign power. Thankfully, the Rising of 1916 proved a successful forerunner to the fight for the return of Irish autonomy.

It is inconceivable to me that we should commemorate this Rising and the subsequent deaths that resulted from it and the conflicts that followed as if rule by the British Empire had been a benign agreement between two nations.

Given this, it is no surprise that the downgrading of history in schools should now be on the cards. – Yours, etc,


Crumlin Road,

Dublin 12.

Sir, – We seem to be acting out a strange echo of life in Ireland 100 years ago. We have had the royal visit, and a mild reawakening of pro-British sentiment. We have an understanding and empathy for those who decided then to rush to the British army recruiting stations. Constitutional nationalism dominates the political agenda, but is showing signs of ideological exhaustion. A Sinn Fein-led opposition is growing in strength. – Yours, etc,


Foster Place,

North Ballybough,

Dublin 3.


Photograph:  Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

 Professor John A Murphy from Macroom, Co Cork – where the Black and Tans drove out from in their two Crossly Tenders to meet their dreadful doom in the Kilmichael Ambush on 28 November 1920. Murphy is a notorious apologist for the Black and Tans and British imperialism in general.

Striving to choke back the vomit a further blow lands on the solar plexus. In the letters page, under the title ‘Army and 1916 centenary visits to school’ that appalling revisionist historian from University College Cork, John A Murphy tells us that the 1916 Proclamation may not be fairly presented to the school children by the Irish Army and the bit about “the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty… six times during the past three hundred years.”. This, he assures us, “is nothing less than a gross distortion of historical reality, nationalism masquerading as history…” Fearing the radicalism of the Irish Army officers (FFS) he asserts that in order to protect the impressionable minds of the children the “only authoritative person to clarify these important issues is the relevant Minister, Heather Humphries.”.

You might wonder why she finds such favour with this West Brit scoundrel but of course it is because she too is a West Brit. She is an Ulster woman and the only Presbyterian currently in the Dáil. This from blog report on her I found on-line:

On Saturday 16 August 2014 Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht, attended a commemorative event in Armagh marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World. Belgian and French representatives were also in attendance. The event was organised by the City of Armagh branch of the Royal British Legion, and was addressed by a number os speakers, including Mr Kevin Myers and Mr Danny Kennedy MLA, Minister for Regional Development in the Northern Ireland executive. A two-minute silence was followed by a wreath-laying

Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Cavan/Monaghan T.D. Heather Humphries attended the Royal British Legion’s annual ceremony at the National War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge in Dublin. She read a lesson and also laid a laurel wreath. Tomorrow there will be a national day of commemoration at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham at 11am. Speaking ahead of the ceremony the Minister said: Speaking ahead of the ceremony Minister Humphreys said:

“This ceremony remembers the Irish men and women who died during the two world wars. Just last week I travelled to the Somme to mark the 99th anniversary of what was the bloodiest battle of World War One, claiming thousands of Irish lives.

“Through the World War One commemorative events, we have gained a much greater understanding of the scale of Irish sacrifice and suffering. Families have, for the first time, discovered that their relatives went to the Front to fight, and many of them never returned home.

“One hundred years on, Ireland is respectfully remembering its sons and daughters who served in what was a horrific conflict. Events such as this one help us not only to pay respect to those who died, but also to recognise how far we have come over the last century.”

It is a pitiful state of a nation entirely when its elected leaders and academics apologise for the very existence of that nation. A grovelling crawl before the masters of life!

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