The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Trust Your Leaders?

If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
- Samuel Adams


Brendan Hughes • 8 April 2002

James Connolly, in 1915 wrote a sarcastic article titled 'Trust Your Leaders!' In it he claimed that 'in Ireland we have ever seized upon mediocrities and made them leaders'. He could just as easily have been writing about 2002 rather than 1915. How can you trust leaders who endlessly tell you one thing and do the opposite?

Taking the gun out of Irish politics is a joke. It is a sick joke because the only gun being taken out is the republican gun. Now that another bunch of weapons has been decommissioned I feel for all those poor people who never made it to the TV studios, who never graced foreign capitals, who lived in tiny homes with their door always open as we hid our guns in their cupboards, under their beds, in their drawers and beneath their floorboards. The anonymous poor, the real heroes and heroines of this struggle.

We are occupied and have more right to have weapons than those who occupy us. Yet the British demand that we and not they give up guns. Imagine England invaded by the Nazis and the appeasers advised the English people to 'destroy your weapons. The Nazis insist on it'. Would you? I am not comparing the English people to the Nazis but the point is that we in Ireland have been invaded by armed English soldiers intent on murdering, torturing and jailing a civilian population. Why should we - the victims in all of this - hand over or allow the weapons to be destroyed? Those weapons were used not to invade but to defend our communities and to obtain Irish freedom.

I can see what has happened today as nothing other than surrender. But not everybody surrenders. One thing holds true in all of this and that is Ireland is occupied by Britain and for as long as that remains there will always be Irish people who will resist that occupation. Handing over or destroying weapons in order to accept British rule in Ireland is neglecting our own responsibility and passing it on to another generation.

And what social conditions will a new generation face? Tony Blair has proclaimed New Labour. Republicans have proclaimed New Sinn Fein. All new waffle. There is not much that I can see that separates them. What then about something really new? What about new socialism? A socialism that would ignore the tripe talkers and their vanguard party nonsense? One thing that is not new is the working class. It is as old as capitalism itself. They are still being exploited, maltreated, forced to work for bad pay on unhealthy sites with poor safety regulations. Could someone please tell me where a worker's wage packet is fatter than a politician's? Or where oppression of the working class is not planned? It is not in Stormont, Leinster House or Westminster. They all love the workers alright as long as they can keep them working for buttons.

Take the gun out of Irish politics - maybe. But not at the command of those in the above three parliaments. As long as there is injustice the gun will always be there. And if we really want to take it out why not give it to the Palestinians? And who will have the cheek to tell us that they do not need it?




































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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles


17 February 2007

Brendan Hughes
Archive Material

6 February 2008

Other Articles From This Issue:

Was it a War?
Michael Gillespie

Impossible Task for Truth Body
David Adams

Pandora's Box
John Kennedy

Villians of the Peace
Mick Hall

India's Undeclared War
Cedric Gouverneur

Borders Exist to be Crossed: Maryam Namazie
Anthony McIntyre

That This House Believes That Irish Republicanism Has No Future: Opposed
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Dismantling Partition
32 County Sovereignty Movement

We Shall Not Be Deterred
Brian Mór

Martin Meehan
Anthony McIntyre

Washington Pressure on Dodds
Fr Sean Mc Manus

No Pope Here
Brian Mór

Fundamental Primer
Dr John Coulter

Internal Exiles
Seaghán Ó Murchú

14 January 2008

Republicanism...Alive or Dying?
Anthony McIntyre

Pillocks of the Community
John Kennedy

Irish Unity Cannot Be Ruled Out
David Adams

A Great Republican and a Great Man
Aine Doherty

John Kelly
Anthony McIntyre

How Urgent the Need?
John Kelly, from an interview with Liam Clarke

My Grandfather's Insurgency
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Kitsonian Success With the Provos...?
Liam O Comain

McGuinness Takes the Finland!
John Kennedy

Provisional Sinn Fein - Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater
Jerry Pepin

John Kennedy

Operation Helvetic: To Be Expected
Michael Gillespie

Hung Out to Dry
John Kennedy

Re-Imagining Ireland
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission
Mick Hall

One Armed Bandit
John Kennedy

Terrorism and Leftism
Paddy Hackett

Power to the People
John Kennedy



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