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From: Irish Political Review: Editorials
Date: July, 2011
By: Editorial
Title: Reflections On A State
Brian Lenihan was a marvellous man. Unpretentious. Affable. He sat at the piano played Chopin on the spur of the moment. Pity about The Mistake. Pity about that Delusion in which he spent his last years. That was Olivia O'Leary's instant obituary on Drive Time.

Colm McCarthy's more considered obituary (Sunday Independent, 12 June) holds that "Brian Lenihan was an exceptional minister for an exceptional time". Pity about The Mistake.

"Brian Lenihan was a spectacular victim of bad advice in September 2008".

"It would be disingenuous to describe Irish policy through the few short years of Lenihan's tenure at Finance as a success story. It has ended in failure: the State is unable to borrow, reliant, in Morgan Kelly's resonant phrase, on the kindness of strangers…"

So Lenihan was a disastrous failure—though one should try to find some kind things to say about him when he has just died…

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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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