I was ‘raised’ to believe that the British Empire was cruel and vicious in it’s treatment of the Irish. The Fight for Irish Freedom!
Stories of oppression were caricatured, and there was only image, polemic, emotion perhaps yet no real feeling, no empathy for the poor as poor people; Ireland in the 1970s was not a good pace to be poor. It was pitiless. In a very Catholic and bank friendly way.
I was also ‘taught’ to think of the British Empire was a good influence on the World and all it’s peoples. Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation.
The British Empire, and all empires are at the core of Human Progress. I passed all my exams.
I was ‘schooled’ in the History of Kings, Queens, Princes, Wars, Winners and Losers and ‘learned’ to ‘celebrate’ their ‘achievements’ an to duly ‘appreciate’ their‘ legacy’
The reality of the lives of those who suffered at their hands was a rare footnote.
Most often their bit part in History was to perform as ‘stout yeomanry’ who fought ‘great battles’ or ‘simple’ folk, who toiled on the land, ‘protected’ by their Lords.
Great movies of great battles with great speeches by well known celebrity actors, the historical drama, the almost documentary retelling of the myth is the most seductive manner possible. Heroes kissing their female conquests in between bloody battles, often still covered in the dirt of war; the woman soothes the warrior, she does not scold him.
There were a few bad apples, of course.
Just a few.
All of this guaranteed by God.
As if it was all ‘normal’ human behaviour.
This is what I was led to believe.
I don’t believe any of it.
It’s all propaganda.
1916 was a shit thing to do, a shit thing to be involved in.
In consequence many more shit things were done, guerrilla war, independence war, civil war, economic war, religious war…
leading directly to the Dictatorship of Church and State in Ireland, a cabal that for 80 years masqueraded as beacon of Democracy on the International ‘stage’, all the whle managing the incarceration hundreds of thousands of men, women and children in religious and state care, where they were subjected to unfathomable, protracted, horrific physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse, which was covered up by people who were not the perpetrators, who were ‘in loco parentis’ and this double breach of trust is still being ‘managed’ by Church and State in Ireland ….
That’s a shit thing to have done, to be still doing. And it’s not like the current set-up has made an effort – what accountability exists, does so because it’s all been driven by Survivors coming forwards and fighting with all their might against a hesitant, obstructive state and resistant deceitful Church. T
1916! The Banks!
1916! The Tyrrelstown evictions!
1916! The Magdalene Launderies!
1916! Mothers and Babies Homes!
1916! Catholic Baby Trafficking!
1916! Enda Kenny!
1916! Charlie Haughey!
1916! LGBT Rights! ????
They don’t go together. Those rights were attained by peace, by struggle yes, but not by the gun. This supercedes 1916 in every way possible, and they are a maturation of the political process amongst the grass roots of society, and the most effective way in which to challenge and confront oppressions.
They were a recognition of humanity that has been dealt with openly, honestly and with all due remorse and shame for the previous institutionalised marginalisation and bigotry, and a desire in people for human justice, justice, justice!
1916, 1922, 2016…… look around you, my Irish brothers and sisters. What do you see?
All the men with guns are terrorists, they are murderers. The legal definitions are irrelevant to human flesh and bone, to the reality of that kind of violence, on all ‘sides’.
I will not glorify it. I will not justify it.
I will subject it to a substantial critique based on the evidence, the outcomes.
Tom Clarke, the 'leader' of 1916 was driven by revenge, religion and ideology, not by love. He was a 'radicaliser', he was a 'mentor', a manipulator and he was a 'jihadist' teacher. He was a Wahhabist. Religion as justification for murder. Funding for militia. Training Camps. Those who want to can justify anything, defend the indefensible.
Understand 1916 in the context of 'The Troubles'.
The NI Civil Rights Movement that was about poverty; institutional discrimination and deliberate impoverishment. It was not about Republicanism vs Unionsim. That was injected into the shituation to undermine the Civil Rights narrative. Collusion. Secret undercover 'operatives' working for the British Security State, an all the militia, escalated the violence and the narrative changed. And they have maintained that pretense for decades. A movement of integrity that is seeking Civil Rights is more of a threat to Power than any violent militia.
The irony of the times, the 1916/2016 mirroring shows that whilst the people are growing in awareness, the rulers are becoming ever more blatant about their position, and their media parrots these lies and false narratives because they cannot acknowledge that growing awareness, as it's emergence after centuries of delusion exposes their primary insecurities, which being narcissistic in nature they take very, very personally and deep within their reactionary violence their souls are charged with fear.
Selfish fear. Lethal fear.
Power has one directive : to retain, enhance and project that power. Everything it does submits to these necessities. Everything it does can be understood through this paradigm. The Bully, the Institution. They are the same thing, at different degrees.
Bullies replacing bullies is not Freedom.