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Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

The Message of Mayday is the opposite of murder

Bernadette still arguing and agitating for change - the only way

I met Bernadette Devlin (McAliskey) in Derry last week. She had the same cheeky grin, razor sharp intellect and repartee as ever she did. What was she doing? This giant of the Irish political stage was handing out leaflets in support of another well known figure - Eamon McCann. McCann is standing as the People Before Profit candidate in the upcoming local elections in the North. If readers want to see Bernadette’s excellent, and succinct, presentation explaining why she is supporting McCann and other progressive candidates they can go to –

People before profit

IRSP candidates are also standing in the North and deserve a mention. Not just because they appear genuinely committed to social change but also because the organisation has turned its back on futile acts of terror.

The message from the progressive candidates is very...
... simple. Do we want a society based on greed? - where the filthy rich have their taxes reduced at the same time as workers (employed, under employed or unemployed) in all sectors are expected to make sacrifices to keep the system going – or do we want a more equitable society? It’s a no brainer.

But of course, as Bernadette points out, the present system is based on voting for candidates to go to assemblies and parliaments. If ye don’t vote things wont change. People all over the world are sacrificing their lives for the right to vote.

On this May Day Holiday in Ireland, as the allegedly civilised world cheers the murder of an alleged murderer, we need to remind ourselves that fundamental change for the good, and for all, comes via discourse and debate and the strength of our argument. Our argument is unanswerable. Greed is wrong. Starvation in this obese world is unnecessary and immoral.

Now a few days before I met Bernadette in Derry a man in a mask stood in front of a few hundred people. His organisation – The Real IRA – he said, would murder anyone they wanted to murder and nobody could stop them. How easy it is to stand on a platform wearing a mask, preach to the converted and utter threats. The exact same cowboy logic, in fact, as the Obama administration’s pursuit of Bin Laden - Nobody gets out of here alive.

The parallel goes further. The US administration (along with its allies worldwide) has been locked in a sometimes covert sometimes overt struggle against Al Qaeda. This struggle has simply bolstered the arms industry and a Securocrat agenda and has had no impact whatsoever on the question of justice and land rights for Palestinians and the right of Israelis to live in peace and security. At a micro level, the same is true for Ireland - a man in a mask mouthing threats (replace with turban where appropriate) puts absolutely no pressure on Sinn Féin to deliver on its radical promises and offers no defence to working people trying to stop cuts and defend public services. A murder manifesto, in other words, simply serves the status quo.

Here is the proof of how far removed from reality the dissidents are – if they were to kill 100 police officers tomorrow, Ireland would still be the country that had the highest numbers of people outside the UK who watched the latest round of the English royal family’s Punch and Judy show – The Royal Wedding. Furthermore, in that same city where the dissident show of strength was staged, ordinary people are afraid to go into the city centre at nights and anti social behaviour is a scourge. Anyone who knows Derry will tell you that even at the height of the Troubles it was possible to walk around it ancient walls day or night without fear of molestation or aggression. Derry people are genuinely worried that their city is becoming a marginalised town – squeezed between a resurgent Letterkenny and a Belfast centric administration. The macho rhetoric of a masked man means next to nothing in this context.

With all of the above in mind, I have been surprised at the “analysis” provided by Journalists who have reported this year’s dissident Easter Rising commemoration. Gerry Moriarty for example in the Irish Times (see Irish Times) quite rightly says that they have gained publicity but was it good publicity? As someone who knows about the media and the way messages work, I was astounded that the Real IRA spokesperson managed to tie the GAA (the life and soul of our country) into his threats against a range of institutions. A complete propaganda no-no.

Danny Brown, meanwhile, a reporter from Gaelscéal, an Irish language newspaper, seems to lose the run of himself altogether; telling us that the Real IRA scored a great propaganda victory “an bholscaireacht” and that the organisation will be able to build on this in the coming weeks. (Those with Irish can read the article here -


In terms of the Real IRA’s alleged propaganda victory a direct link is made in this article to the elections in the North on the 5th of May referred to at the top of this blog. Well this link is news to the people of the Six Counties in general, and the people of Derry in particular, as the dissidents will have a zero presence and the same amount of influence in these same elections - zero


A far bigger crowd at a Derry anti cuts march

As far as I am aware, not one journalist has pointed out that many many more people from Derry itself turned up to a protest and day of action over the proposal to mothball a cancer unit at Altnagelvin hospital as did for a national mobilisation of the dissident fraternity. The dissident show of strength becomes a sideshow but not for a media apparently more attracted to sexy masks and webbing than workers' rights.

It is true that a small number of dissidents also attended this health services march but it was subsequently made clear to them that they were not welcome. And here lies the problem for the these supposedly “real” republicans – they are hidebound by their own murder manifesto and the genuine people in their ranks will always be constrained by that deadly fact. Until, that is, the dissidents decide to join us in the real world.

In a recent air strike against Colonel Gadhafi in Libya, we are told that three of his grandchildren were killed. Details are emerging from the operation to murder Osama Bin Laden that completely innocent people were “taken out”. When the dictator Sadam Hussein was cruelly taunted and hung, the allegedly anti death sentence West whooped for joy and declared it to be a good day for democracy. When Constable Ronan Kerr was murdered by an under-car booby trap bomb, some of the same anti social youths who now plague the streets of Derry (and who also claim dissident allegiance) smeared paint on the walls mocking his death – look what youse got....

Jesus wept

It is not a question of whom you murder but what murder does to you.

In wishing my dear comrades and friends my heartfelt and hopeful greetings as a worker, anti fascist and artist I will leave with the words of our heroes of 1916:

"...we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, inhumanity, or rapine."

@Paul Larkin
Carraic Mhic Eamharcaigh, Gaoth Dobhair
Lá na n-oibrithe – Workers Day 01/05/2011

1 comment:

Easter wishes to one and all..
Paul, the notion and definition that we are fed of 'justice' is plaguing our increasingly fragile youth and rendering them, quite frankly, incapable of reflecting on national, local and international events. How many of my pupils at school, when I tried to address the recent 'execution' of Osama Bin Laden were able to stand back and ponder on the why's and what's of the situation...unfortunately, nil.
'We heard it on the TV. He's a fucking bastard!'
'All I ask of you', I would respond, 'is that you process the information you receive, that you search for other angles, that you ask simple questions seeking answers or provoking thought'...oh dear, they are no longer concentrated as they receive notice of an SMS hurtling from one end of the classroom to the other.
And all this reminds me of that wonderful moment in the film rendition of Lord of the Rings where Gandalf, prior to Bilbo's departure and an argument over the ring, rises powerfully over the cowering Bilbo saying, 'I'm not trying to rob you; I'm trying to help you'
The youth needs help yet sees that weaning them from their stultification means 'robbing' them of their media addiction.
The following article was food for thought...

Hoping all are well
by: Finn Anson (contact) - 04 May '11 - 11:53


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Title: The Message of Mayday is the opposite of murder
Date posted: 02 May '11 - 16:05
Filed under: General
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