[Marxism] Spiteful Invective

Philip Ferguson philip.ferguson at canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Jan 5 14:46:11 MST 2006

Donal, in his denunciation of John McAnulty's critique of the Provos current political direction says, among much else, about McAnulty's group and about myself:

"Is there no greater condemnation available for the class origins of this 
trend. When others were out doing the dying - and Phil Ferguson was 
purportedly involved in solidarity activities - this trend were 
condemning the IRA as 'nationalist militarists'."

Actually, People's Democracy, the group that John McA has been involved with throughout his adult life, organised stuff like the Belfast to Derry march which was ambushed at Burntollet Bridge by loyalists and the RUC.  PDers faced being murdered by loyalists and the British state for many years, and members of PD were also on lengthy hunger strikes in the 1970s.

Since Donal knows full well that I was an extremely active member of Sinn Fein (from 1986 to 1994, as it happens) and a SF full-timer for several years and lived in dire poverty throughout the bulk of that time, his comment that I was only involved in "solidarity activities" (as if I was in another country) and even then only "purportedly", is a nice example of the dishonesty and invective to which he is reduced when confronted with a serious critique of the political surrender of the Provo leadership.

When someone has to active the person rather than the argument you know they're on weak ground.

I've no interest in responding in kind, and suggesting Donal was only "purportedly" involved in "solidarity activities" and such nonsense, although I do think he is naïve hack who simply repeats everything the Provo leadership puts forward to cover the fact that they have abandoned the struggle.

I'll own up to an error.  I thought Donaldson was a more important player in terms of political decision-making than appears to be the case in terms of the Provo leadership.  However, Donal's attempt to make out that he was of no significance and just made the tea and opened doors for Adams is absurd.  He was a republican veteran just outside the inner cabal.

We will see over the next few weeks which members of the inner cabal of the last 20 years turn out to be Brit agents. 

However, as John McAnulty's article pointed out, the whole Provo leadership is up to its eyeballs in collaboration with the Brits anyway, with their highest horizon being to get the northern executive and assembly functioning again, so SFers can take their positions at the cabinet table helping administer the six-county state.  And in the south, it is only a matter of time before they are in coalition with Fianna Fail.

Each step of the way, of course, Donal has denied that this, that and the other was taking place.  Denied, for instance, that the IRA would disarm and launched into invectives against those of us who said this was on the table and likely sooner rather than later.  Now they've disarmed and it's only a matter of time before they'll be disbanded, unless the leadership decide to keep a skeletal force to be used against political opponents a la the Sticks.  Each step of the way, Donal has been proven wrong.  And when SF sit in government with Fianna Fail in the south, he'll again be proven wrong, but no doubt treat us to a 'Marxist' rationale for why it's necessary to be part of a partitionist capitalist government.



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