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From: Church & State: Editorials
Date: July, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Irish State In The Dock
The Irish State has been brought before the Torture Committee of the United Nations on a charge of engaging in torture in the conduct of the Magdalene Laundries where unmarried mothers were given refuge from society in an era when marriage was generally regarded as an important social institution. It has been ordered to investigate the torture it practised in the Laundries, prosecute itself, punish itself, and make redress to its victims. The possibility that it might not have engaged in torture is not seriously entertained.

A curious point about this is that the State is required to investigate its torture practices from 1922 onwards. Why 1922? Why not 1919, for example? Both dates are so long ago that nobody subjected to torture in Ireland on either date is likely to be around to give evidence, and torture is certainly not less likely to have been inflicted in 1920 than in 1922.

It might be said that 1922 was when the State was founded, so it would be silly to press the investigation beyond 1922.

But what State was founded in 1922…

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From: Irish Foreign Affairs: Editorials
Date: July, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: The Nazi/Soviet Pact/War
This is the 70th anniversary of the German attack on Russia in the World War launched by Britain on the pretext of defending the independence of Poland.

The Irish Examiner (formerly Cork Examiner) commemorated the event with an article by Geoffrey Roberts, formerly a member of the former Communist Party of Great Britain on its patriotic wing and now a Professor at Cork University. Roberts is an 'anti-revisionist' in England and a 'revisionist' in Ireland—he holds a pretty standard English view of things and brought it to Ireland with him—and condemns Irish neutrality. He explains the World War as follows:

"Operation Barbarossa… was the climax of Hitler's bid to establish Germany as the dominant world power. That bid had begun with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, followed by the German conquest of France in June 1940. By 1941 the German war machine had conquered most of Europe as country after country was invaded or forced to join Hitler's Axis alliance. In the West, only Britain, protected by the English Channel and the strength of the Royal Navy and Air Force, remained defiant and undefeated. In the east, the Soviet Union was the last remaining obstacle to German domination of Europe…"

Hitler's bid for world dominance is one of the mesmeric myths by which Britain sought to dominate the mind of the world and divert it from consideration of its own irresponsible warmongering. There is no evidence that Hitler aimed at anything more than "Lebensraum" in a corner of Eastern Europe and, but for Britain, he would have had little hope of making a serious attempt to get that...

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From: Problems: Articles
Date: July, 2011
By: Joe Keenan
Title: Introduction To The 1831 Trial Of William Cobbett
The fires of "Rural War" raged in England from the end of 1830 into 1831. William Cobbett's weekly Political Register and his monthly Two-penny Trash had stoked those fires and he can hardly have been surprised when elements of the Parliamentary oligarchy called for his head.

In October 1830, Cobbett toured the epicentre of the Swing Revolt, Kent and Sussex, delivering a series of lectures in which he explained the causes and expounded the aims of the burnings, wreckings and expropriations. On 16th. October he spoke in Battle.

Very shortly after it was delivered, Cobbett's speech in Battle was characterised by the Earl of Ashburnham in a letter to Kent's Lord Lieutenant Camden as

"…there never was such rank treason utter'd in any country, or at any age…he reprobated the labouring class in Sussex for not shewing the example set them…in Kent, where their fellow sufferers were asserting their rights by destroying the property of those who tyrannized over them". (quoted Roger Wells, Mr William Cobbett, Captain Swing, and King William IV, The Agricultural History Review, Vol. 45, No. 1 (1997))

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: June, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Her Nibs Visits
So the war between the UK and the Republic of Ireland has been concluded and put away by the ceremonial visit of Her Nibs to the Garden of Remembrance. The British have finally conceded defeat in that matter.

At least that is what we were told repeatedly and authoritatively during the visit by Her Nibs. Fintan O'Toole of the official newspaper of the State told us so on Radio Eireann. And he said, if she had only come earlier, things would have been settled earlier.

If there were any truth in all of this, it would be a case of Britain snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But of course there isn't any truth in it...

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: May, 2011
By: John Morgan
Title: Of Vampires And Other Blood-Suckers
Attention Shoneens. Let you all rise up and unite, for your hour is nigh. Unfurl your brightest banners and raise them aloft. Reach under the bed. Take out those medals. Make sure your shoes are shiny. Heels together. Toes at an angle of forty-five degrees. Arms held tight to the sides. Thumbs in lines with the seams of the trousers. Salute with right palm exposed Learn how to curtsy, bow and scrape. For the news has broken. She is to come amongst us. On the seventeenth of May, 2011. The Queen of England is on her way. All cackling ghouls rejoice. Oh, the Somme, the Somme. Some are put out of pain by this. Others have had their pain increased. The sale of drink will soar, for diametrically opposed reasons. She is to be the guest of said nation. Many citizens believe Her domain still includes part of said nation. Some will be drinking 'for' Her. Most will be drinking 'because' of Her. I might have one or two, myself. Poppies will come into bloom, early, too. But, where will She go? Her itinerary is unknown to me. Nobody told me. Though I admit this does give me the hump, it is not the reason that I am the way I am. Other matters impinge.

It is all so full of pathos. Bathos, too. By the seventeenth of May 1916, fifteen of the leaders of the Easter Rising had been executed. Casement still awaited the hangman. By then, fourteen bodies had been put into unmarked, quick-lime graves, in a corner to the rear of a little known British Army burial ground in Arbour Hill. Consigned to oblivion. (Thomas Kent had been executed and buried in Cork.) All this was done in the name of the ancestors of She who is to come among us. May, it seems, is a wicked month...

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