Sunday, September 28, 2014

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Winners and Losers

Guest writer Chris Fogarty with a few thoughts on Peter Taylor's claim that the British and unionists won the long war with the Provisional IRA. 
  • If you look at it through the prism of the present I’ve no doubt that the British and the unionists won the war because the IRA is no more and the union as it has ever been -  Peter Taylor interviewed.

Provos: The IRA & Sinn Fein
Peter Taylor's book: Provos
Of course the British won! That's what the GFA was all about. That's why Margaret Thatcher awarded the CBE to Bill Flynn, for his part, along with MI5 and Fr. Alex Reed, in subverting Gerry Adams. That's why Ian Paisley was happy to participate.

The GFA mandated the surrender of the largest area of national territory in history absent catastrophic military defeat. The vote, though light, was a landslide on both sides of the partition, for surrender of that territory. 

Why is Peter Taylor's truthful statement newsworthy? What IS newsworthy is how, after centuries of Brit false smears of the Irish as gullible, this generation, including many Irish-Americans, lived down to that smear. Sad World! Consequences of that outbreak of gullibility await us all.


DaithiD said...

Did Gerry Adams need much subverting?
I too am surprised Taylors conclusion caused a stir, but then there are also those that consider relocating a wild elephant to a zoo a victory over ivory poachers.

Wolfsbane said...

Common sense replaced selfishness on both sides. We all won when that happened. Only the blind ideologists lost.

Let's make it work.

That's my Unionist take. Some Unionists share the OP's view that the good guys lost - only they see it as the Unionists lost.

So those who wanted a victory for their own side only, they lost. Those of us who came to see the rightness of both sides winning, we won.

Anonymous said...

its not just us thats gullible chris. the whole western world is dumbed down now. people obey the mass media, which has always been the goal of the technocratic elite. ireland is the biggest deluded country in the world. never shuts up about fighting irish etc but caved in long ago. 450 billion oil and gas given away to corporations but we nearly had a riot over garth brooks. ireland was never a bigger slave in all its history. im sick of the place now. id emigrate but id only be bumpin into irish.

Henry JoY said...

The prize is peace.

Through the subtle manipulation of careerist extremist politicians the guns have been virtually silenced. And those sociopathic leaders in turn have successfully led their sycophantic and gullible followers away from the margins towards the centre.

The journey out of hell has little to do with winning or loosing.
That this journey out of hell and into an imperfect settlement, into a shaky fledgling peace, was a dubious process, a dubious and even deceitful one by times, is now irrelevant ... almost totally irrelevant ... in the context of where we're at now.

The peace may not as yet be truly cherished by all, it has though been broadly accepted.
Peace may not yet be firmly embedded but a process is long begun and well on it's way to a solid acceptance.

Those self-righteous and self-obsessed ideologues of whatever hue who'd try to bludgeon people out again to the margins with their outdated shibboleths won't be appreciated and won't succeed.
Their efforts to undermine the fragile peace will be deemed by those in the ever increasing, and more consolidated centre to be essentially hateful.

The centre has gained mass, the centre has consolidated and that being so the outliers have less and less impact .... their influence and potential for influence is currently minimised.
And in the interests of peace, and the peace of our children may that remain so.

larry hughes said...

had no internet for 7 weeks. didn't half miss 'Grouchy-bhoy'!!

Organized Rage said...

I simply do not agree with Chris take, when in the past have republicans or revolutionaries ever considered the outcome of a a single campaign as the definitive out come of the struggle.

When republican prisoners were marched through Dublin after Connolly and his comrades decided further military resistance was futile. Some on there way to jail, others to the firing squad, not one man spoke of defeat. the rising was just one stage of the stuggle.

When the 2005 Russian revolution was put down, did the revolutionaries harp on about defeat, of course not, those who escaped the Tsarist hangman's noose, or imprisonment in Siberia regrouped, moved on to the next stage of the struggle.

Which incidentally as far as the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks were concerned meant sending comrades into the mockneyTsarist Duma. (parliament) Something Lenin had once pledged never to do.

I can give you countless examples from history, right up until today, where this sort of thing took place, the Paris Commune is another. See

It is pretty obvious to all the PIRA did not win there war, the more so for those who were engaged in that struggle. Although I doubt many senior republicans truly believed at its outset they would defeat the British military.

Just because a journalist who for all his qualities, has worked all his life for the enemies propaganda arm, claims this or that, does not make it true. It is simply his opinion, which may or may not have been dipped in English ruling class ideology.

I would just add it is far to soon to make a definitive judgement about the PIRA military campaign, not least because it will be future generations who will decide whether it helped or hindered the completion of Ireland national and societal revolution.

Dave said...

Who is partioning Afghanistan and Iraq ?
Fogarty should concentrate on giving his golfing buddies a lesson on the golf course.FOUR!

David Higgins said...

Organized rage,
I disagree. When i first started commenting on this site, i tried to find a logical or emotional argument to counter Anthony's theory that republicanism is dead. I am still racking my brain. The majority of republicans follow a party that has become the antithesis of republican ideology. Our former leaders are now servants of the British state in Stormont. Anti g.f.a republicans, we've no real structure. Partition is alive and well and after the disastrous decision by the Scots the union is safe. I just don't see how it is possible for republicans to achieve unification and more importantly in 50 years time will reunification even be on S.F's manifesto? when you bear in mind that in the last 16 years the struggle has went from being about reunification to being about social equality, apparently.

Anonymous said...

hey dave, id say fogarty is more into hurling than golf, u have to sort out the partition in ur own brain never mind afghanistan, and larry didnt go on net for about two months too, so misd u and all the other contrary gits out there!

Peter said...

Us unionists,as you all well know, are a triumphalist lot, just look at the celebrations in Scotland. Yet there is no triuphalism over this, we didn't 'win' the war just circled the wagons.

David Higgins said...

What celebrations in Scotland? I am living here and i never seen any, if you mean that carry on in George square that was hardly a celebration, just idiots acting like idiots. I suppose it all comes down to how you interpret winning. The unionist community fought to stop reunification and reunification hasn't happened so it seems that you can interpret that as victory, no? It seems to me that some unionist would rather believe there is Sinn Fein/Brit conspiracy that accept that Sinn Fein has sold out. Some within the unionist community hatred of McGuiness etc is so strong that they refuse to believe that the Sinn Fein leadership did what the unionist or Brits never could, namely destroy the provos.

DaithiD said...

It felt a very sorry for Sean McGinley at the end of it , it came across as the exploitation of a vulnerable person (by both the programme and the Republican Movement).

larry hughes said...


knowing wee 'jap' McKinley from a long time ago I too felt bad to see him 'worn-out' looking. Also, I thought his 'faith' in McGuinness and Adams came across like there wasn't much else for it at this stage. I think Heath, Major or some Tory said if McGuinness couldn't "deliver" the IRA it would have been pointless talking to him. Says it all.

DaithiD said...

Good Larry, the makers filmed the interview with heaps of clutter in the foreground in a way they didnt with others, it might be true of how many live, but was he aware he was going to be the ‘down and out’ part of the show? I wonder did the others have makeup for cameras, and if so, was he offered any?

PS The fly landing on McGuinness mid-interview was funny, there is a metaphor in there somewhere...

John Morgan said...

Our children won the right to grow up without fear or brainwashing. It's called freedom.

larry hughes said...


It's a pity wee Jap couldn't get an extra ticket on McGuinness and Robinsons next junket to Brazil, China or wherever's left that they haven't been recently. He deserves it more than those two; the contrast is severely depressing.

wolfe tone said...

My view on Peter Taylor went downhill a bit when he appeared recently talking up the British govt line on the threat of ISIS. For such an 'experienced' journalist he sure has missed the fact that ISIS is a creation of the CIA/Mossad and the Saudis. His credibility has to be questioned when he seems to be uttering what an mi6 spokesman might say.
For such an 'experienced' journalist was it wise of him to pose a sensitive question such as 'who won the war' when he should know it could perhaps antagonise one side or another? After all he knows the situation in the north is far from settled. Some would argue he's doing a bit of 'mixing'. And if indeed he is mixing the question must be why? Or on whose behalf? Going by what he was saying on the bbc on Sunday concerning the ISIS farce,there can be no doubt what side his bread is buttered,

Anonymous said...

any chance of a link to see the programme for people outside the UK?

DaithiD said...

Euro free it's on YouTube :

If there are any links for the Brass Tacks debate whose clip was included in this doc, I would appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Daithi - i watched the film -very sad in places - and posted it on my blog.

Chap Taylor said...

If there's one thing that's been consistent about the physical force arm of the Republican movement, it is that they always acknowledged the reality that the reunification of Ireland would be a struggle across generations.

The PIRA wan't defeated militarily, the British Army's own internal review indicated that they expected the Provo's could continue their campaign indefinitely. The question then, as now, is to what end? Is the continuation of armed resistance, in and of itself, a form of victory? Clearly, Adams et. al. felt it was not. Regardless of feelings about the leadership of Sinn Fein, the fact is that Northern Ireland (and the Republic, and the UK and Europe) are no longer a war zone, at least not for Irish combatants.

So, where does that leave us? If the ultimate goal of the Republican movement is a free, unified Ireland, then nothing has been lost, only delayed. Time, demographics, and the contracting English economy are all on our side. From the beginning of the 20th-Century, British policy toward Northern Ireland has been driven by a desire to prevent a loyalist civil war. The UK desperately wanted to keep Scotland because it is economically valuable. Ulster, on the other hand, costs the Exchequer a considerable sum year in/year out. What we are seeing is a very slow (thirty-fifty years), carefully managed withdrawal from England's last colony. They may be going slowly, but they are going, because there is no ultimate benefit for them staying.

Mr. Taylor is right that the British government won the war, but not in the sense most people understand. They won a (mostly) peaceful Northern Ireland, the decommissioning of the PIRA and a inclusive NI government without provoking loyalist deadenders into civil war. Republicans may have to be patient, but the sacrifices of our generations of volunteers will ultimately be rewarded. The sad truth is it is England's most loyal servants, the loyalists of Ulster, who lost. They were right to always dread a deal between HM's government and Republicans, it's just going to take a few decades to reach fruition.

Anonymous said...

"it's just going to take a few decades to reach fruition".
The End of the Union may well be Nigh given the effect of the scottish referendum because pledges/promises/Vows for Scottish home Rule/Devo max in exchange for a NO vote are incompatible with maintaining the Union and

Chap Taylor said...

I would love for that to be true but the numbers are not yet on our side. If a referendum were held today, I don't know that a majority of voters in the six counties would vote to join the Republic.

larry hughes said...

Chap Taylor

Not only would a majority in the north vote no at this time, the south would recoil at the prospect. The unionists project an image of UK superiority in the wee 6, but unlike the 26 they never stood on their own two feet economically; nor can they. The money London pumps in there annually to keep it from disappearing without trace is frightening. Stormont doesn't seem to be helping matters either and it looks like the 'spongers' will be stirring up trouble soon once more to get marching past RC houses. Priorities, got get the old priorities in 'order'.

Back on the winners and losers theme. I can't help equate the 'laughter of our children' slogan with the comparison of the chuckle brothers and now the Peter 'Robem-some' and McGuinness jet-set team with wee 'jap' McKinley. What a bullshit slogan that really is!!

frankie said...

While I understand what you are saying in part. Stop with the So, where does that leave us?' and the 'Time, demographics, and the contracting English economy are all on our side.'

I'm having a problem in following you. You are a native New Yorker..

Or at least that's what I gathered from a previous post you made. You aren't an 'US' so your 'OURS' mean nothing to me. You grew up north of Mason Dixon. I grew up in Ardoyne.. Not the same ball park. So what's it with the 'US' and 'OURS'.... No matter what happens in the six counties your life in Queens, Bronx or other will go along as the previous day..You said on a previous post here on the 12/09/204 at 11:30 PM......

the left dreaming up dumb conspiracy theories instead of engaging in hard-eyed, realistic appraisals of how to move our agenda forward.

What is this agenda?

I'm with Hank Jr and the American Way... Then again I'm Irish Chap and you are north of Mason Dixon (from your post's)...