Another go trying to reason with Brian was Re: Thoughts on Brian'spost was Re: Irish Stalinists

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Wed Nov 8 00:47:45 MST 2000

Gawd but you are an aggravating sod, Cahill.  I wonder does  such a smart
ass know it all exist anywhere else but on the Left.  No wonder we are
always a minority.  Ok let us take the derisory voting results.  You
produce no figures.  From memory and I was a boy at the time the results
were not derisory.  There was a substantial vote throughout the North for
Irish Republicanism. In 1971 at5 Essex University Jerry Lawless then of IMG
described the Republican vote as significant.  So the onus is on you to
produce the figures.

And you might give a thought to a response to an argument which links
voting patterns and revolutionary activity.

Now you also essay a piece of sarcasm, on my remarks that the Republican
movement should have spread the campaign into the North.  They did not and
it stayed largely a cross border campaign.  You then say really. If Belfast
had come into it then we would have had something other than a cross border
campaign.  NO?  Duh!

There was another unsuccessful IRA campaign which no one has mentioned so
far and that was in the 40s.  It too was a small campaign but did involve
Belfast Republicans.  Why did the campaigns of the 40s and 50s fail so
spectacularly?  Well my hypothesis is that the defeat of 22-3  which
involved large use of death squads and the pogroms of the 30s really cowed
the Catholic population of Northern Ireland.  The relative prosperity of
the 50s early 60s even though it was largely welfare based helped I think
build confidence for another round of Republican resistance.

You also ask me for an alternative description of the 50s (and 40s)
campaigns other than "individual terrorism".  Well I prefer to describe
them accurately as small campaigns with potentially mass support albeit of
an often passive nature.  But individual means individual.

You make two other points that I will comment on.  You say that the
Provisioinals alternated between ignoring Protestant workers and shooting
at them.  Well wrong again.  After the Loyalist strike of 1972 Sinn Fein
made overtures to the Strike Cttee.  Daithi O Connell went on TV and
congratulated them on their "great victory".  Stupidly and wrongly of
course but he was not ignoring them and he wasn't shooting at them.

Now finally on the "shooting at Protestant workers".  In Northern Ireland
if I take up arms against British Imperialism and if I shoot a police man,
reservist, or even British Soldier there is a pretty good chance I will hit
a Protestant.  Does that mean to you I am shoot at protest ant workers or
am I confronting a today of British Imperialism?

As for the Kingsmill massacre,  that was totally and absolutely wrong but
listers should know that it was in the context of a vicious Protestant
murder campaign in the triangle around Portadown.  Still the source of most
assassinations of Catholics.  Context as they say is everything.

Gary MacLennan

. The Provisionals alternated between
>ignoring Protestant workers and shooting at them. They sought to smooth
>over class antagonisms between Catholic workers and bosses. They
>substituted the actions of a few self appointed bombers and assassins for
>mobilisation of the working class. That they now participate in
>administering British rule in Northern Ireland should hardly come as a
>surprise. Nor should the sight of their leaders touting for multinationals
>to invest in the exploitation of Northern Irish workers come as a shock.
>Nor again their desire to enter a coalition with Fianna Fail in the South.
>This is the natural end of a movement which built itself as a cross class
>alliance in Ireland.
> > Finally how strong was the role of confessional politics in the
> > IRA?
>Ask the Protestant workers massacred at Kingsmill, to put it bluntly.
>[snip evils of Father "friend of the British government" Faul and the SDLP.
>You will get no argument from me here.]
> > I could say similar things about Brian's allegations about the role of
> > conservative Irish politicians in the formation of the IRA.  This is the
> > sort of shit that British Intelligence operatives have been putting out
> > years.
>Indeed it is. My source, however, was mostly Michael Farrell. Money did
>come from right wing Southerners. Do you dispute that?
> > The catalyst was an armed response from the Protestant
> > Loyalist state to the civil Liberties movement.
>The catalyst was a proposal at the IRA convention to end abstentionism in
>Dail, Westminster and Northern elections. The real causes ran a great deal
>[snip petty insults]
>Is mise le meas,
>Brian Cahill

More information about the Marxism mailing list