Wednesday, 14 November 2007

There ain't no Republican like a Sinn Fein Republican

There is always a hoot to be had from the hypocrisy of Irish republicans and the Derry Journal produces an editorial rich in just such hilarity.

The subject matter of the article is of course extremely serious. Rejuvenated attacks by republicans against members of security forces and particularly against members they perceive to be part of their own community.

The newspaper’s conclusions however are ripe with irony. To begin with we have a ringing endorsement of Martin McGuinness based on his republican credentials and the rather sinister condoning of his having “walked the walk”. The article then develops into an attack on those who are currently er… “walking the walk”.

The distinction the newspaper draws between one set of violence and another? “The community” no longer supports it. Who or what this "community" the paper so adamantly evokes comprises is not stated. If it refers to the community in Northern Ireland as a whole, well I am bound to point out that that community never supported republican terrorism either now or in the past. If it refers to the nationalist community, it also behoves me to point out that whilst McGuinness et al wreaked their havoc they were never afforded the support of the nationalist community at the polls. We can only assume that in the Derry Journal’s opinion the only community which matters is the fabled “republican community” and if they now back McGuinness and his like in their pragmatic peace then this is holy writ and condemns their fellow travellers who take a different view as fascists.

Of course McGuinness’s own organisation enforced its political viewpoint against the majority by means of violence, both against their perceived community and against the people of Ireland as a whole. They were every bit as fascistic as those fellow republicans they term “micro groups”. And if they have strategically dropped the violent aspect of their fascism, the monolithic, centralist stranglehold they exert politically on their communities suggests that old habits die hard. The violence of the current dissidents and the violence of the mainstream republican movement are morally directly equivalent and denial of this fact remains such a blatant irony that it can never fail but to provoke mirth.

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