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Dysfunctional Family Values



Mick Hall • 16 October 2006

One of the most depressing outcomes of the total dominance of the Adams oligarchical clique within SF is the manner in which they have poisoned the well of public debate between fellow Irish Republicans who hold different perspectives about the future of their cause. One of the more obscene and devious weapons Gerry Adams and his acolytes have used with great effect to control the Provisional Republican Movement, and spread discord towards those Republicans who no longer support SF and challenge the Adams GFA strategy, is what they [the Adamsites] call 'The Republican Family', a fictitious body used as a means to demand absolute loyalty from their membership and to dispense largess to those amongst them who toe the Party line without question.

In reality this 'Family' of Mr Adams', like its Victorian counterparts, can be a very cold and Dickensian place, especially if you reject the total dominance of the Patriarch and head of the household, whose word is law. Woe betide any offspring who challenge his authority, for they will be shown the door and told to never darken it again. Unless, that is, they return to their senses and recognize his absolute authority. Even then, they will be unable to return to eat their meals at the family table, but will forever be required to take them in the kitchen, along with those tradesmen and odd job men who are passing though the household on business.

It is made clear to the Patriarch's children, if they know what is good for them they will break off all contact with the brothers and sisters who have felt the wrath of their father and been sent on their way, branded as dissidents and catspaws who failed to understand the natural order of things and thus accept the way of the world. They are also expected to join in and publicly support the head of the household's ex-communication of his offspring, on pain of fear of being forced into exile alongside them.

Of course, as with all such families where the head of the family has influential friends, there are rewards and pickings to be had for those members of the family who are prepared to bend the knee and bow to the petty-tyrant's authority. By joining his chorus of abuse against those family members who were evicted from their home, careers are advanced, doors are opened, and a share of the family's wealth may come their way. All that is required of them is to recognize that white is black, a cat is a dog and that a man can become a mouse. Indeed, for some the hope of replacing the Patriarch when he departs the stage is enticingly dangled before their eyes, as is the way in such families. Unfortunately for them, it will not be their eyes alone which will be so enticed, as the Patriarch, being the type of man he is, has few qualms about using sibling rivalry to get his way and maintain his authority.

On the surface and to the uninitiated the use of the term 'Republican Family' seems pretty harmless, even endearing, but in reality it is a carefully thought out strategy. Prior to this word being used, SF and Óglaigh Na hÉireann [P] as a combination were described by its members as the Movement or something similar. A word that means the coming together of a group of people to advance common social, artistic, or political ideas. Which sounds to me just about perfect as far as the PRM was once concerned, as it also implies a certain amount of democratic accountability due to common ideals. True, it can mean the opposite, as with for example European Fascism circa 1919-1945. However due to its historical roots, Wolf Tone, United Irishmen, Republican Congress, let alone the 1916 Proclamation, democratic accountability has always been at the core of Irish Republican philosophy, even at times when some of its leaders failed to live up to it.

The word Family means the opposite of this, for few would claim that even in the best and happiest of families democracy plays much of a role, indeed in most the opposite is true. So when Adams made the decision to call the PRM 'The Republican Family,' it is pretty clear he understood what he intended and why he made this change. Families are oligarchical, they operate on a top down basis, those with the least pull have the least say. The head/heads of the family make the decisions until such a time as the children are old enough to make their own and, if necessary, for reasons I have mentioned above, go their own way.

I would suggest the reasons why Gerry Adams and his acolytes started referring to the Provisional Republican Movement as 'The Republican Family' and harked on about it with such intensity is self explanatory. It was a means to control the discord they knew would arise once they decided to accept British rule in the north east of Ireland and destroy Óglaigh Na hÉireann at the behest of the British Government and its Irish associates. It would also allow them to maintain the charade of democratic accountability within SF, whilst giving them a vehicle to manipulate the said accountability to their own advantage. It would allow them to drive out, banish and belittle all those heretics who refused to accept Gerry Adams' will.

Finally, it also demonstrates perfectly just how conservative a man Mr Adams is, and not only politically. What better way to send a message to those who rule in the Vatican City, Dublin, London and Washington DC? The family is without doubt the most conservative institution most of us will ever experience within our daily lives and is little threat to the powers that be. By this act Gerry Adams has not for the first time demonstrated his Machiavellian tendencies. It is a great pity he has so little of a Prince of Men about him.






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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

16 October 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Friday the 13th — The Most Terrifying Deal Ever Done!
Tom Luby

Black Friday
Anthony McIntyre

When No Means Yes
Dr John Coulter

Blowin' In The Wind
John Kennedy

Time to Conclude NI Process
David Adams

Once Bitten
Anthony McIntyre

Dysfunctional Family Values
Mick Hall

Racism: The Social Uniter?
Dr John Coulter

Nobody Home
John Kennedy

'The Revolution is the People'
Jane Horgan-Jones

10 October 2006

Hail The Messiah
Anthony McIntyre

HET: History of Whitewash Continues
Martin Galvin

To Deal or Not
Martin Ingram

One Small Step for Paisley, One Giant Step for Ireland?
Dr John Coulter

The Haunting
John Kennedy

Subversion of an Irish Peace Plan
Brian Wardlow

Working Class Hero
Mick Hall

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 15 - 22
Michael Gillespie

John Kennedy

Racism: The Social Cancer
Dr John Coulter

Forced Out
Anthony McIntyre

The Letters Page Has Been Updated.



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