September 06, 2013

Giving an opposition to political propaganda in Northern Ireland

Malachi O'Doherty wrote here in an article for The Irish Times entitled, 'No one agree on the North's history - so why don't we just stick to the facts':
"Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly recently said on The Nolan Show that the IRA had secured us the vote. No one corrected him, presumably because it is all just too much trouble to unpack the detail."
Though I would posit that I offered a morsel of a rebuttal. One that no-doubt requires more detail but which nevertheless counters the base reductionism and propaganda of the Gerry Kelly narrative. I said here
"At the Castlederg event, Gerry Kelly said that the two self-immolated militant republicans "made us (as Irish republicans in the north of Ireland) free." Free From what? British oppression of course. 
I’m not condoning or in any way excusing the discrimination and persecution of Catholics, but this Sinn Fein/Republican idiom and cliché is a shameful irony and hypocrisy. Why? Although people forget or don’t know, in the decades after 1922, Ireland was an incredibly oppressive place to live. For Catholics as much as Protestants.

Fintan O’Toole explained this in his book ‘Up The Republic’ where he said:
"For most of its history, the state failed miserably in the basic task of ensuring that citizens were free from subjection to the arbitrary will of others. It allowed the institutional Catholic Church (as opposed to Catholics themselves) to exercise unaccountable and secretive powers in key areas of public and private lives of citizens, from access to contraception to basic public services such as healthcare and education. The state also actively colluded in grotesque systems of arbitrary power; such as industrial schools, Magdalene Homes and mental hospitals – incarcerating without trial a higher proportion of its citizens than the Soviet Union did."
I continued:
"Yes, Ireland incarcerated, without trial, a higher proportion of its citizens than the Soviet Union did. 
Fintan O’Toole then further said: “More recently, the state itself has been dominated by private interests. Corruption allowed wealthy citizens to purchase public policy, to the detriment of the majority of their fellow citizens.”

More Recently at the MacGill Summer School, Fintan O’Toole called both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland a failed state. Both states were catastrophically mismanaged. So I’ve never gotten the republican’s messianic narrative, that if we can just get the Brits out, all will be fine, everyone will be free.

It’s quite clear that the Republic of Ireland made a mockery of the Republican principles of liberty, equality, fraternity as much as Northern Ireland and Britain made a mockery of traditional notions of fairness and equality.

So for all those chaotic unionists, instead of letting the boils fester and rumble, why not take confidence in what Fintan O’Toole said in making a nonsense of the Gerry Kelly tribute to terrorists who “made Ireland free”?

It’s quite clear that it has been the increasing Europeanisation, internationalisation and secularisation that has been at the centre of the liberalisation of Ireland, both north and south.

It was these terrorists and paramilitaries that protracted the violence and retarded the economic and educational development of Ireland north and south. To paraphrase Epictetus, it is only those who are educated and who have a job who are free.


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