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Some republicans and some nationalists are very upset that Martin McGuinness will be shaking the hand of Betty Battenberg (or Windsor, or whatever her real name is) this week.
Personally, however, I don’t see any reason to complain.
The Provo leadership are handmaidens of British-political and capitalist-economic rule in the north. Why not shake the British queen’s hand? It’s the perfectly logical thing for these people to do. Indeed, he may as well kiss the queen’s arse while he’s at it, so we can all see the real power relationship between the Brits and the Shinners.
The handshake also points up the partitionist nature of the Shinners these days.
In the north, their political position depends on being seen as respectable and implementing whatever political and economic policies are necessary to maintain the division and exploitation of the working class, including working the six-county institutions of state. In the south, however, Sinn Fein advance is dependent on them being seen as at least somewhat anti-establishment. So, in the south, they verbally oppose the very same Free State economic policies that they themselves are implementing north of the border. And in the south, they didn’t curtsey to the British queen when she visited last year.
At present I’m reading Donnacha Ó Beacháin’s The Destiny of the Soldiers: Fianna Fáil, Irish Republicianism and the IRA 1926-1973. I’m only up to about page 100, but so far it’s a fascinating and excellent account of the formation of Fianna Fail and how Fianna Fail presented itself as still being a staunch republican party in the late 1920s and 1930s, while indicating De Valera’s devious scheming throughout these years and the way in which the party was transforming into the opposite of what it supposedly was when it was established.
I’ll write more about this fascinating book later, but it’s a timely reminder of the way history repeats, the first time as tragedy (Fianna Fail’s shift from republicanism to 26-county bourgeois nationalism)), the second time as farce (Sinn Fein as a loyal component of Her Majesty’s Government in the north of Ireland).
Posted on June 25, 2012, in 21st century republicanism and socialism, Irish politics today, Political education and theory, Provos - then and now, Public events - Ireland, Toadyism. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on That handshake.
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