the 7th of March the Blanket carried an article entitled
Suicides by the journalist Eamon McCann. At no
stage since the whole issue of suicides in Ardoyne
blew up did Eamon McCann approach the Republican Socialist
Movement to hear its side of the story in relation
to what was happening in the area. That does not surprise
us. Regularly the Sunday World prints a whole series
of lies about our movement and rarely tries to get
our side of the story. The journalist Eamon McCann
used to work for the Sunday World so maybe he learnt
bad journalist habits there.
his article in the Blanket McCann refers to
the "Irish National Liberation Army" and
he uses speech marks around the name. However when
we checked his writings about other armed groups we
found that he referred to both the Provisional IRA
and the Real IRA without speech marks (Socialist
Worker Issue 208). Of course the purpose of the
speech marks was to question the validity of the INLA
and later on in his article he refers to "INLA
gangs" and to "guttersnipes with guns."
also peddles the lie that one of the young suicide
victims was subjected to "prolonged vicious beating
by an INLA gang". He also finds it hard to believe
that the local community had pressurised the INLA
to take against those engaged in anti-social behaviour.
For the record the INLA is approached in a lot of
areas including Derry to take action against "hoods".
I wonder what Eamon would do with the Hoods in Derry
who tried to set a young fellow on fire recently.
Give them a copy of Tony Cliff's book, "State
talks about "self worth". Fine. Does he
think that his negative references to the INLA will
persuade anyone in that organisation to listen to
his voice? Denigrating and belittling people and organisations
on the basis of false media reporting, half truths
and a concerted campaign by pro agreement people to
discredit the INLA will not cut any ice with those
living in working class areas suffering from a reign
of terror from hoods.
know that the volunteers in the INLA acted from the
best of motives in doing what they did. But the IRSP
has said both publicly and privately to them that
a number of their actions were wrong. We have exerted
our influence to change their way of dealing with
problems. In fact we have been working on this from
long before Eamon McCann and his media cronies discovered
Ardoyne and suicide. (Those who wish to know the details
can contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
is also being simplistic about the issue of funding.
A large slice of peace funding has been going into
Ardoyne creating jobs for pro-agreement elements.
There is also a Community Restorative Justice scheme
in the area perceived to be too closely associated
with one pro-agreement party. Some people believe
that the end result of such funding is only to cement
the electoral machine of some politicians and tie
them in more firmly to the whole process of pacification.
Perhaps some enterprising journalist will actually
conduct proper investigative journalism into this
have been trying to encourage people to take responsibility
for their own community and we see that as part of
the process of empowering the working class to begin
to take control of the state and begin the task of
building a socialist society. Members of our movement
have made mistakes and our organisation has made mistakes
in the past. No doubt we will make mistakes in the
we will not equivocate about Imperialism. Recently
at the so called "Left Convention" in Derry
I was accused of personally attacking Eamon McCann
after I said that the programme he was standing on
amounted to gas and water socialism. Below is his
answer in Socialist Worker to the following
is this not all "gas and water socialism"?
What about imperialism?
are unashamedly anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist.
We are actively against the occupation of Iraq and
the corporate agenda, which enforces cutbacks and
privatisation across the globe. The threat to water
service jobs here and introduction of water charges
is an example. Those who see themselves as anti-imperialists
should see that this is the front to fight on for
the future. The fight against imperialism in 2003
is a fight against US-led imperialism across the
globe, or it is nothing. Those who welcome Bush
as "a friend of Ireland" position Ireland
on the side of imperialism. We reject the idea that
the issues which are convulsing the world have nothing
to do with politics here. We make common cause with
all across the world struggling for the same aims.
We wouldn¹t have taken George Bush's hand at
Hillsborough except to twist it up his back and
run him out the door.
very fine and noble sentiments but notice what is
missing? There is no mention of British Imperialism
nor is there a clear call for the defeat of USA/British
troops in Iraq. Perhaps that might alienate some of
the more pacifist members of the SEA. Well we believe
that there is an Imperialist presence in Ireland and
as republican our comrades fought and died opposing
that Imperialism. They did not die for a nationalist
Ireland. They died for the liberation of all the working
class from reactionary ideologies and for the establishment
of a Workers Republic here.
are important and Eamon McCann has a fine way with
them. He is also a fine writer and writes exactly
what he means. His words in the Blanket effectively
put him on the other side of the barricades to ourselves.
He is on the side of the guttersnipes with word-processors.
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