Friday, July 08, 2005

True Colours

Over at the National Review's group blog, the Corner, there's a semi-interesting discussion going on about whether Britain is likely to "appease" terrorism, although the framing of the topic tells you quite a bit about the angle they are taking. Inevitably the IRA comes up in the discussion, drawing this contribution from arch Vast Rightwing Conspirator John O'Sullivan, who has impeccable Thatcherite and Bu-shite credentials:

FRIDAY, FRIDAY [John O'Sullivan ]
I think that I am one of the strongest critics of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, but it did not amount to a victory for the IRA. What the IRA wanted was a united Ireland under its leadership. What they have got is a divided Ireland where the North will be governed either by an administration headed by the Rev. Ian Paisley or by direct rule from London ... Of course, Adams, McGuinness and the other IRA murderers should be either in prison or been hanged long ago.

It's also shameful that a British minister (admittedly the appalling Peter Hain who entered politics by breaking the law) should have recently praised them as "visionary." But the fact is that the Brits have remained in Northern Ireland because the majority of the population wants to remain British. We were not bombed out. And we will remain there as long as the majority wishes. Terrorism did not win in Ulster [sic], but it is being indulged there. But what did you expect? We have a Labor government which, even under Blair, has the usual instincts of the Left.

There's too much of a tendentious account of Irish nationalism here to handle on a single blog, so let's instead focus on the revealing throwaway sentence about Peter Hain, the incumbent Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Hain came to prominence in the 1970s as an anti-apartheid campaigner, and since O'Sullivan doesn't explain his claim that Hain broke the law, we have to assume he's referring either to civil disobedience or Hain's acquittal on a charge of bank robbery, in which he might have been set up by South African intelligence.

Either way it reveals the resentment still felt by reactionary conservatives towards the anti-apartheid campaign, something that they've generally learned to hide. But occasionally the mask slips. Hain clearly earns extra resentment points for having branched into Irish nationalist politics as well, another red flag to the VRC-Unionism axis.

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