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|From: Irish Political Review: Articles|
|Date: July, 2017|
The Incomparable Compared
|The Incomparable Compared!
The comparison of the "War on Terrorism" with the war against the IRA has been widely made by British commentators in recent months. But there is no substance to the comparison. One is a matter of internal policing, the other was a foreign war.
The BBC political propagandist, Martin Dillon, published a book on the Northern Ireland War and called it The Enemy Within: The IRA;s War Against The British. But the enemy was "within" only in an Imperial sense—held within the state, against its will, by a power of State in which it could play no part. It was within the state because it was held within the special Northern Ireland system of the state.
Northern Ireland was not an integral part of the political or national life of the state. It was an undemocratic variant of the otherwise democratic British state, designed to serve some purpose of the State in its Irish policy.
The ruling majority in the Northern Ireland system agreed to rule the large nationalist minority in semi-detachment from the political life of the state. It was Unionist, half outside the Union.
A bizarre turn of events has now led to its holding the balance of power in the state Parliament. The Tory Party looks to it to maintain it as the Government. It appears to be willing—for a price. But few Tories are happy about the prospect.
Ulster Unionism has often been referred to dismissively within the rhetoric of British party politics as a bunch of Tories who ran a "one party state" for as long as they could get away with it. But it is not Tory, and it never has been. It is an amalgamation into a single party of all major strains of British party politics: Tory, Socialist and Liberal, along with a tinge of the National Front. It is therefore alien to the British political mind, on which party-political conflict is ingrained as the normality of things.
The large Nationalist minority never accepted the Northern Ireland system, into which the British democracy placed it, as a possible framework for its political life. Occasional attempts were made to participate in Stormont, only to find that there was nothing to participate in. Northern Ireland had no actual political life, and no possibility of one. Its material needs were tended to by Whitehall.
Martin Dillon refers repeatedly to the Northern Ireland State. Considered under that heading, it was the empty shell of a state:
"We are a nation as it were in its nonage, put under the guardianship of a people who do everything for us, and leave us the liberty of transacting nothing material ourselves or having any part in the affairs of the United Kingdom, yet for all that we are not free from faction and discord any more than our neighbours."
That was Bishop Berkeley describing the colonial Irish (Protestant) Parliament in the early 1700s, with one term changed: "Europe" to "United Kingdom". It describes the "Northern Ireland State" very well.
Northern Ireland was inside the UK and outside it at the same time. It was outside it in all those things that made the British state functional as a multi-national state. And the nationalist community held within Northern Ireland was detached from it more by reason of the structure of the state as they encountered it rather than by a nationalist wilfulness that caused them to refuse to participate.
"Those bonds of citizenship that define our United Kingdom" never existed in the relationship between Britain and its "Northern Ireland" concoction.
The words quoted are from a statement by the British Prime Minister after the attack on the Finsbury Park Mosque. She said the aim of the attacker was to break bonds which Westminster itself had snapped when setting up Northern Ireland.
The IRA's 'terror campaign' quickly took on the character of a territorial war between the nationalist community that was twice removed from the democracy of the state, and the Government of the state which put it in that predicament, and it continued for almost thirty years, until Britain agreed to a drastic re-organisation of the system.
The "enemy within" is the Muslim population of Britain. The British party system makes a considerable effort to draw immigrant populations into it, and it has always been successful until now. The Zionist propagandist Melanie Phillips drew attention, with her sensational slogan of Londonistan, to the failure to break the Muslims into British culture quickly..
There is a large Muslim population of recent origin in Britain because of the way Britain has been destroying Muslim states. That Muslim population is not in rebellion against that State, as the Six County nationalist community was. It is assimilating quickly in some respects—taking easily to party-politics—while remaining very much itself. In all walks of life we now hardly notice the presence of large numbers of women dressed as only nuns would have been a generation ago—and there are no nuns any more!
Islam is proving to be durable way of life amidst the affluent ruins of Christianity. It is therefore suspect, and the attitude towards it puts one in mind of the attitude towards Young Ireland when it first appeared.
It is closely supervised by the State, with a view to preventing "radicalisation". But Islam itself, which must now be accepted as a respectable part of English life, is already a radical departure from what English culture had posited as the normal development of things.
And it is out of the question that Britain should desist from military actions in the Middle East and North Africa that are bound to outrage Muslim feeling at home with 'radicalising' effect.
Brexit: the British General Election, Varadkar as Taoiseach and Continental Developments. Dave Alvey
The Incomparable Compared! Editorial
Aspects of the Balfour Declaration 1917. Pat Walsh (Part One)
Northern Ireland: Result Of British General Election, held 8 June 2017
Readers' Letters: The One 'Whole Nation' Nonsense!. Manus O'Riordan. Kilmichael: Eve Morrison Got It Wrong. Niall Meehan. Eve Morrison Letter
War Childhood In Northern Ireland. Wilson John Haire
L(e)o And Behold!. Jack Lane
Revisionist Jamboree at Kilkenny Castle. Tim O’Sullivan
The Remaking Of Hubert Butler. Julianne Herlihy (Part Three)
Mary Kenny And Fascism. Brendan Clifford
Themes Of Times On Munitions & Mines. Manus O'Riordan
Climbing The Money Tree. Wilson John Haire
Biteback: Unbalanced History. Dublin-Monaghan Bombings. Tom Cooper
Does It Stack Up? Michael Stack (Europen Culture; EU: A Single Market?)
Labour Comment: Engels Visits Ireland
GLEN: A Post-script