The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Not In Our Name, Bertie and Gerry

Brendan Young • March 17, 2003


As a member of the Labour Committee on Ireland I helped organise the meeting at which Gerry Adams addressed delegates to the 1983 Labour Party Conference in Brighton. The LCI campaigned in the Labour Party for British withdrawal from Ireland. Central among its arguments was that withdrawal was the application of the socialist and democratic principle of the right of nations to self-determination: that nations should have the liberty to form and choose governments free from external rule or domination.

Whatever one's view of this argument as applied to Ireland - and while supporting the end of the war in the North I believe it still holds true - the principle of the right to self-determination was at the heart of the entire post-war decolonisation movementt. Be it India, Kenya, Algeria, the Congo, Korea or Vietnam, mass struggles and bloody wars were fought for the right to self-rule against European and US colonial power.

The coming war against Iraq, while economically about the control of Iraqi oil, is politically the first step in the reversal of the entire post-colonial settlement. By overwhelming force of arms or the threat thereof, the US will seek to install compliant regimes to replace those which do not fit the needs of western neo-liberalism.

While the Bush administration struggles to maintain popular support for this war in the US, 'official' Ireland in the form of the Taoiseach is prepared to perform the despicable role of helping legitimate Bush by publicly associating with him. Perhaps they hope to get some of Irish America on side for the slaughter? Truly wretched therefore, is the presence of the Sinn Féin delegation at Bush's public-relations exercise.

No amount of prattle about the peace process can hide the fact that those who have claimed the mantle of the struggle against colonial rule in Ireland are happy to sit and sup with those who would impose it by force in Iraq. How are the peoples of the Middle East, Africa and Asia to understand that basking with Bush is the immediate requirement of a peace process, the aim of which is to form a coalition government with a rabid supporter of this war - David Trimble? Is the urge to get into bed with Trimble so great as to require Bush's Sham-rogue blessing right now? The enduring image will be the smiling Ahern-Adams-Bush photo-call: Republican Ireland lends succour to the imperialist on the eve of the declaration of war.

As the bombs fall on Bagdhad, Sinn Féin will have time to reflect on how they have been used, or on their duplicity. Fianna Fáil and the PDs appear happy in their subaltern role. But hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Dublin on February 17 under the slogan: Not in my name. The same applies to this shameful Washington junket: not in our name, Bertie and Gerry.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
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Index: Current Articles

17 March 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Death of an IRA Volunteer
Anthony McIntyre


Sinn Fein @ The Bush Party
John Meehan


Not In Our Name, Bertie and Gerry

Brendan Young


Republicans' Big Risk
Paul Fitzsimmons


The Good Friday Agreement? What About the St. Patrick's Day War?
Eamonn McCann


St. Patrick's Day Message
Jimmy Sands

Only Another Eleven Palestinians
Margaret Quinn


13 March 2003

Anthony McIntyre

One For All & All For One
Paul Dunne


Brave New World, Indeed.

Tommy Gorman


Ireland: Direct Rule Continues
Paul Mallon




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