28/12/2020 by socialistfight
Eoghan Harris, ‘ask not what the British empire can do for you, ask what you can do for the British empire’, With apologies to JFK
Eoghan Harris has excelled himself in his latest effort for the Sunday Independent, ‘Brit-bashing Brexit and the centenaries feeds SF’s vote’. He makes a direct comparison between the Nazis and Sinn Féin, which he describes as ‘a left-wing fascist party which conjures up far too many sinister comparisons with Germany in 1933’.
This is a brief summation of his career from Wikipedia:
“Harris has held posts in various and diverse political parties throughout his career. Previously a Marxist theoretician of the Workers’ Party of Ireland and its predecessor, Official Sinn Féin, he has since stated that he abhors Marxism. He was a short-lived adviser to John Bruton, before he became Taoiseach; an adviser to the Ulster Unionist Party; and, more recently, a supporter of the Fianna Fáil-led government of Bertie Ahern. At one stage an Irish republican, Harris is now a bitter critic of modern-day Sinn Féin. His critics accuse him of demonstrating ideological malleability, hypocrisy, neoconservatism and inconsistency.” 
Harris opens his argument with an outright lie. That from 1933 onward Hitler made newspapers and magazines report his plans for the murder of Jews and the disabled. In fact, Hitler did not begin to suggest the Holocaust until after Kristallnacht in 1938 and the euthanasia of the disabled began in 1940. Of course, the anti-Semitism of Nazism was apparent from its inception but initially Hitler had collaborated with the Zionists, who were a small, unrepresentative minority, against the vast majority of Jews who were left-wing supporters of the Jewish Bund in the main.
Harris has lied to perpetrate the myth that most Germans willingly supported the Nazis, ignoring the slaughter of all opposition, beginning with the working class organisations; trade unions, Communist party etc. These were the focus of Nazi propaganda and murderous attacks by the Brownshirts in the three years before January 31, 1933, not the Jews. We have analysed the disastrous consequences of the Stalinist (KPD) Third period ultra-leftism on Stalin’s instructions from 1928 to 1934 where the German Social Democrats (SPD) were designated as the main enemy and there were frequent instances of the KPD collaborating with the Nazis against the SPD. Hitler came to power in January 31, 1933 without a shot being fired. The KPD were still inanely parroting ‘after the Nazis, us’ as the Gestapo rounded them up for the concentration camps.
And after May Day 1933 and the Reichstag fire on February 27 all workers’ organisations were declared illegal. When strikes broke out the boss called in the Gestapo, who immediately executed the ringleaders he pointed out. Some resistance occurred, but it was all ruthlessly suppressed. What ordinary Germans thought in those years was determined by the fact that all the working class leaders were in concentration camps, executed or in exile. Nazi propaganda had unchallenged play but accusing the German working class of freely supporting the Nazis is an outright lie, spread by British imperialism and Zionism in the main.
And comparing this with Sinn Féin’s surging support is outrageous. Whatever our political estimation of Sinn Féin they won support and secured the top vote, 24.5%, in February 2020 in a free election, support was not achieved and imposed by Nazi-style terror.
Which brings us to some of his seven bogus comparisons between the Nazis and Sinn Féin. First, they have a paramilitary wing. That is not true, the Provisional IRA dissolved in 2005. Second, they want to reunify Ireland, that is as bad as Hitler invading Czechoslovakia in 1938 to reunite with the Sudeten Germans. Sinn Féin sought to represent the oppressed nationalist community in the north of Ireland and fought for equality of treatment and a united Ireland because nationalists were brutally oppressed by the Orange state and then by the British army after 1969. The Nazis were the state, if there is any comparison it is between the oppressed nationalists in the north of Ireland and the Jews. How ridiculous can you get?
Third he alleges Sinn Féin’s support for and defence of the memory of those who fought and died in the struggle to free the north of Ireland from British occupation, Bobby Sands, and the rest, are as bad as the Nazi’s glorification of Horst Wessel, the Nazi brownshirt thug who became the idealised hero of Nazism. This reversal of the oppressed and oppressor in the north of Ireland is a propaganda appeal to far right Loyalism and their supporters in the British state and the English fascists and far right.
The just comparison here is between the far right ideology of Harris, his grovelling to British imperialism and the English far right and their supporters in the state murder gangs, the MI5 and military intelligence. The British fascists include the Football Lads Association, English Defence League (EDL), Britain First and Patriotic Alternative a split from the British National Party’s led by Mark Collett.
Harris’ far right ideology is clear in the rest of piece. He attacks not only Sinn Féin but Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, former Taoiseach of the most pro-British party, the successor of the Cumann na nGaedheal, who defeated the Republicans on behalf of the British empire in the Civil War in 1923. Varadkar is far too left-wing for Harris because he made a half-hearted effort at opposing Britain over Brexit and in an October 2018 meeting with EU leaders in Brussels, he turned up with a copy of the Irish Times which highlighted a bombing of a Customs boarder post on 1972 by the IRA to make the case that a hard border might bring back the ‘troubles’. It worked, claimed Varadkar, but Harris thinks it was just Brit-bashing, it was an ‘inflammatory incident’ and a ‘reckless action’. The just comparison here is between the far right ideology of Harris, his grovelling to British imperialism and the English far right and their supporters in the state murder gangs, the MI5 and military intelligence.
If Harris can attack the leader of the most right-wing main-stream party in Ireland from the right that makes him a man of the far right. He also attacks journalists like Fintan O’Toole, the Irish national broadcaster, RTE, its academic pundits and even the Irish Times, the traditional voice in Ireland of British unionism, of being soft on Irish nationalism and Brit-bashing. His attacks on RTÉ are real sour grapes, he once dominated the output of the station via the Workers Party. Wikipedia tells us that,
“it was stated in the November 1997 issue of Magill magazine that he set up an RTÉ branch of the Workers’ Party called the “Ned Stapleton Cumann”, which gave the party considerable influence in RTÉ. Michael O’Leary, then leader of the Labour Party, commented that RTÉ current affairs coverage was “Stickie orientated”, a reference to the Official IRA, from which the Provisional IRA had split in the 1970s.” 
Previous Sunday pieces have attacked Michael Collins for having the ‘Cairo Gang’ executed in Bloody Sunday 1920. The Cairo Gang were British agents sent to assassinate IRA commanders, including Collins himself. But Collins had penetrated the British intelligence in Dublin Castle and even in Britain itself via sympathetic civil servants who were appalled at British murders and mass oppression in Ireland. Irish President Michael D Higgins put the dead of Bloody Sunday at 32, including the executed British assassins with the 14 slain at random in Croke Park and the three IRA prisoners done to death in Dublin castle by wardens in reprisal for the executions, by shooting into the crowd at the football match.
So, Collins assassinated hired assassins who had come to assassinate him! He practically wiped out Britain’s spy network, a fact that Harris denies, whilst again equating the violence of the occupying power with the violence of the national liberation movement. His comment on Dan Breen is very revealing, Breen was a common murderer who killed two RIC men in cold blood at Soloheadbeg, Co Tipperary on 21 January 1919, Harris lied. In fact they refused to lay down their rifles when ordered to do so by the eight-man IRA team who wanted the gelignite they were transporting to the nearby quarry.
What is established is Harris is ashamed of his own nation, its foundation and continued existence. His evolution is from Sinn Féin to the ‘Official’ Sinn Féin/IRA to the Workers Party to the worst apologist for British murder squads like the Glenanne gang and the state sponsored assassinations of Catholic civilians like Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson to the Dublin/Monaghan bombing in Dublin in 1974, which I witnessed myself.
Like his close co-thinker, Cork Unionist Ruth Dudley Edwards, he is looking forward to the day when the Union Jack is flying again in Dublin’s legislatures and the Queen makes her regular visits to her loyal subjects in Ireland. Ironically, Sinn Féin has clearly indicated its openness to such a perspective by receiving and welcoming British royalty in Ireland. A coming together of Harris and Sinn Féin on this matter might seem possible if it were not for those pesky Sinn Féin voters, who clearly have not forgotten the genocide of the Great Famine or the execution of the 1916 leaders or both Bloody Sundays, 1920 in Croke Park in Dublin and 1971 in Derry.
The cartoon on Harris’ piece on 27 December shows the appalling vistas of the centenaries past, in 2020 and the centenaries to come in 2021, the Government of Ireland Act. This Act which partitioned Ireland got Royal assent on December 23, 1920 and came into force on May 3, 1921 without a single vote or consultation from any Irish political party, not even from the Irish Unionists. The partition is therefore illegitimate because it was never ratified in Ireland and the 1918 general election vote gave Sinn Féin 73 of the 105 seats in Ireland. Sinn Féin therefore had the right to form a government in Ireland alone and to negotiate with all other parties as that was their manifesto in the election.