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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: October, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: What's Constitutional?
Fianna Fail Junior Minister Martin Mansergh has been putting himself about. Speaking at the McCluskey Summer School he said that Fianna Fail could not contest elections in the North because it was a party in government in the Republic and to do so would create a conflict of interest and damage the peace process.

Senior Fianna Fail Ministers, Dermot Ahern and Eamon Cuiv, have been encouraging the setting up of Party organisations in the North. The measure is generally supported by Cumainn around the South. The question of contesting elections in the North has not arisen as a practical proposition because party organisation is still in a rudimentary stage. But Mansergh has jumped in to pre-empt it, supported by the new leader of the SDLP, Margaret Ritchie.

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From: Church & State: Editorials
Date: October, 2010
By: Brendan Clifford
Title: Henry The Eighthism
What we know as Christianity gripped the imagination of what we call civilisation about 1,700 years ago. That is to say that it became the religion of the Roman Empire. Until it became the religion of the Roman Empire, it was not what we know as Christianity. Pre-Imperial Christianity was something different.

Civilised Europe remained true to its Christianity, in its fashion, until recently. What it did was done in the name of Christianity. And, as what was uncivilised was civilised, it became Christian.

The civilising of the barbarians of Europe was sometimes done by seduction and sometimes by force. The seducing seems to have been done by the Irish, who had themselves been seduced. The forcible Christianising was done by the Empire.

The Christianising of the Empire was done for reasons of state. Its function was to consolidate the Empire by weaving a popular ideology into the vast administrative structure which had long outrun whatever impulse had driven the Romans who had made the Empire.

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: September, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: Trouble With Moderates . . .
Extremism is rampant in the North again. The DUP and Sinn Fein negotiated a new arrangement to take some of the heat out of the conflict over parades. It was vetoed by the Tory/Unionist merger, acting through the Orange Order. The Tory/Unionist position is now one of all-out, unmediated communal conflict over policing.

There can be no democratic objection to this. Democracy operates by the conflict of parties, and each party is under obligation to do battle with its rival by whatever means are available to it, given the mood and culture of the electorate. The Democratic Unionist Party has made a deal with Sinn Fein, and Paisley says it would be OK for Martin McGuinness to be First Minister if the Provos become the biggest party in "the Northern Ireland state". The Ulster Unionist Party is therefore honour bound—insofar as honour has anything to do with democracy—to try to unsettle the settlement made by its rival with its enemy, and restore the simple, unrestrained antagonism of communities.

But the UUP, even in its tactical extremism, remains the 'moderate' Unionist Party. That is a fixed idea of the system. Without it there would be chaos. It is an Article of Faith. Its function is to be believed and not to be subjected to reason.

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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: August, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: Not To Reason Why
This is the season of Sommetry,when the mindless Great War slaughter on the Somme is glorified as heroic. The Irish Government has for many years been feeling its way towards full participation in the annual glorification of the slaughter without saying what the purpose of it all was. To glorify the Somme without showing that it was necessary to the achievement of some admirable political aim—and that is what the Irish Government has been doing—is to hold up abstract militarism as an ideal.

In recent years Martin McGuinness too has been praising the Somme. He has been praising the courage and bravery of the hundreds of thousands who took part in the blind assault on the prepared German defences. They kept it up in the course of a long Summer day, with each fresh wave from the British trenches walking over the bodies of the previous wave in No-Man's-Land.

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From: Irish Foreign Affairs: Editorials
Date: August, 2010
By: Editorial
Title: Editorial
Ireland went into denial about the existence of the Second World War. Even Professor Ferriter tells us that we did. He says that we called it 'The Emergency', in our quaint Irish way which is so endearing to our betters when it is not infuriating.

What we find in the censored newspapers of the period is reporting of the World War, in which it is never called anything but the World War. But that is neither here nor there. Historical truth does not consist of sordid facts like that. Our new history is a new theology in which truth is not to be tripped up by factual detail. England plays the part of the Creator in the new theology in which all right-thinking people must believe. The Creator of the Second World War presents it to us as a universal conflict between good and evil. We did not participate in this conflict. We were doubting Thomases. And not to participate in such a conflict was much the same thing as denying its existence. And we did in fact deny that a universal conflict between good and evil was happening. And to deny that the conflict that was tearing the world apart was a general conflict between good and evil was to deny its essence. And is there any worthwhile distinction to be made between essence and existence when essence is denied? Existence without essence is rag and bone.

Therefore, while we described the rag and bone epiphenomena of Britain's Second World War of the first half of the 20th Century, we denied its transcendent moral essence which was necessary to confer an appropriate immanent moral quality on all its parts, and in doing so we denied its substantive existence. QED…

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