James Daly

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Mon Nov 11 16:43:50 MST 2002


Thanks to James for taking the time to comment on Popper.  Like I said,
I know very little about the guy, so Jurriaan and James' responses were
both helpful.


> By the way Phil, I agree with everything you say about the past and present
> of the Irish struggle. But I disagree with your prediction, seemingly still
> shared by some Sinn Feiners, that a united Ireland is on the cards, which
> also seems to have been the line on which the deal was sold in the first
> place. Blair has from the beginning made the Good Friday agreement a stick
> to beat Sinn Fein with. Talk of American interests' being compatible with a
> united Ireland seems to me not only speculative, but mechanical and
> economistic in approach.


Well, I'm open to amending my view James.  I have been somewhat torn on
this issue, between my view that the GFA copper-fastens partition - a
view which I put forward a few times on this list - and a view that a
divided Ireland just doesn't make much sense for the imperialists any
more and that the imperialists were sorting out unfinished business
around the world, tidying things up - eg overseeing the replacement of
their old dictators with new democrats who would do their bidding more
effectively.  I tended to see Ireland in this light.  A messy bit of
business - a country which had to be kept divided in the past, the
division being the way to defeat the Irish liberation movement and
socialism there in the early 20th century, but now being outmoded.



> The "Unionist community" is a very healthy stumpy
> tail wagging two dogs -- all Ireland (including all shades of republicanism)
> and Britain -- and, as far as its policy towards Ireland goes, a third, the
> US.


See, I find this has the relationship all round the wrong way, just like
the people who think the Israeli tail wags the US dog.  The Unionists in
the north of Ireland are nobodies these days, even less capable of
wagging the British, let alone US, dog.  The Unionists are a hangover
from the past and, if the imperialists can ditch every single one of
their old dictators in the Third World and replace them with sparkling
new US-trained 'democrats', I can't see any particular reason why the
imperialists would want to hang on to a bunch of tired, old-fashioned
bigots in the north-east of Ireland.  Moreover, it's northern
nationalist politicians, not Paisley or Trimble, who get the red-carpet
treatment in the US.

My argument would be that the imperialists are still in the process of
house-training the Republican leadership.  The Republican leaders know
not to poop in the living room, but they still have a few fleas and
bring the odd dirty, messy thing into the house.



> Unfortunately, I also cannot see anything radically different coming from
> those individuals and parties you select as hope for the future.


I don't really 'select' anyone as the hope.  It's just that when I look
around the left in Ireland, I see some forces trying to work out a way
forward, like your old party (I assume you're the JD who was with the
IRSP) and that seems a bit positive to me.

All the best,
Phil

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