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B&ICO/Aubane Historical Society/Irish Political Review


S

Starkadder

It seems the Aubane Historical Society are everywhere these
days. They have been heavily involved in the controversy over
the "Hidden History/Coolacrease" documentary.

They have also been claiming in the "Irish Examiner"
that Elizabeth Bowen should not be
accepted as an Irish writer because of her activities in WWII.

http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/20 ... y41677.asp

And the linked Irish Political Review Group have recently issued a
statement praising " the recent High Court ruling against the Irish Times because of its refusal to comply with instructions from the Mahon Tribunal".

http://www.village.ie/Forum/Media_Blog/ ... s_Support/

Even more unusually, several members of these groups (Brendan &
Angela Clifford, Jack Lane, David Alvey etc.) were involved in
the "British and Irish Communist Organisation", a Leninist group
that was also strongly pro-Ulster Unionist.
See this article "From Peking to Aubane":

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/80451

Curiouser and curiouser, as Lewis Carroll would say.
 

RBinge

Active member
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
255
If an execution was necessary, why was it botched?
 
S

Starkadder

That's a good point. It's the point Pat Muldowney hasn't been able to answer.

The actual B&ICO no longer exists, although some of the many groups it set up, such as the
Aubane Historical Society and the Ernest Bevin Society
(a UK Labour Party group) are still active in political and cultural matters.
 
S

Starkadder

B&ICO's History

The B&ICO started off as the pro-Republican Irish Communist Organisation,changed
to the pro-Loyalist B&ICO, then worked with the Campaign for Labour Representation (a British
Labour party group) and finally reverted back to a (conservative)
Irish Nationalism in the mid-90s.

The organisation was always
small (at the height of its influence, in the early 70s, it had about
50 members) but published a lot of material.

What a long strange trip it was for them.....
 

Catalpa

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 10, 2004
Messages
10,301
Re: B&ICO's History

Starkadder said:
The B&ICO started off as the pro-Republican Irish Communist Organisation,changed
to the pro-Loyalist B&ICO, then worked with the Campaign for Labour Representation (a British
Labour party group) and finally reverted back to a (conservative)
Irish Nationalism in the mid-90s.

The organisation was always
small (at the height of its influence, in the early 70s, it had about
50 members) but published a lot of material.

What a long strange trip it was for them.....
Bad batch of LSD probably - they're still coming down....
 
S

Starkadder

One member of B&ICO, David Alvey was secretary of B&ICO's Dublin branch.

Alvey was active in Kemmy's election campaign in Limerick

(see Irish Times, Feb. 16 1982). Alvey also defended Section 31, the

RUC and the infamous Diplock courts (e.g.see Irish Times, Aug. 3rd, 1984).

He was also active in the Campaign to Seperate Church & State.

In 1986, he also set up the Irish Political Review magazine, which in

originally was strongly pro-Unionist (the March 1988 issue claimed the

RUC were being too soft on the IRA(!)) and anti-Catholic (Sr. Stanislaus

Kennedy was was viciously attacked in the May 1989 issue).

Now, he seems to be going under the name of Daithi O hAilbhe

and implying that "Bertiegate" is the fault of the Dublin

4 liberals.

Not a nice man.
 

PaddyDevlin

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
13
Starkadder said:
One member of B&ICO, David Alvey was secretary of B&ICO's Dublin branch.

Alvey was active in Kemmy's election campaign in Limerick

(see Irish Times, Feb. 16 1982). Alvey also defended Section 31, the

RUC and the infamous Diplock courts (e.g.see Irish Times, Aug. 3rd, 1984).

He was also active in the Campaign to Seperate Church & State.

In 1986, he also set up the Irish Political Review magazine, which in

originally was strongly pro-Unionist (the March 1988 issue claimed the

RUC were being too soft on the IRA(!)) and anti-Catholic (Sr. Stanislaus

Kennedy was was viciously attacked in the May 1989 issue).

Now, he seems to be going under the name of Daithi O hAilbhe

and implying that "Bertiegate" is the fault of the Dublin

4 liberals.

The man is a textbook example of what Theodor Adorno called

"The Authoritarian Personality."
Peversely for a group dedicated to ending sectarian politics who rightly recognised the unworkable nature of the six county polity they are untterly convinced that the six counties must be totally subsumed into another nation state.

In the 70s and 80s they backed full integration into the British polity seeking the abolition of the six county party system with its replacement by Tory v Labour politics. They backed hardline integrationalists holding up the UK as a progressive secular multi cultural society in contrast to the Republic which was a backward mono-cultural conservative peasant state.

Unionists having not bought into full integration in British politics saw them seek a new saviour in and all Ireland Republic. Now Britain became irrediemably imperialist sponsoring their colony in NI and Fianna Fail's Ireland became a progressive republican meritocracy.

All of the above was advocated as a socialist group

The real solution is to recognise the six counties is both Irish & British and while six county politics has no internal dynamic save sectarianism and the east-west and north-south politics needs to grow to allow the north become like mainstream Ireland and Britain.

The authoritarianism is in the fanatical belief full integration into a nation state is the only solution (as if that one hasn't been tried before!). They've many a noble idea but do themselves a disservice with a fanatical attachment to the nation state - they don't seem fussy as to whether it is Ireland or Britain - what next an nine county independent Ulster?
 

cropbeye

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
944
Re: B&ICO's History

Starkadder said:
The B&ICO started off as the pro-Republican Irish Communist Organisation,changed
to the pro-Loyalist B&ICO, then worked with the Campaign for Labour Representation (a British
Labour party group) and finally reverted back to a (conservative)
Irish Nationalism in the mid-90s.

The organisation was always
small (at the height of its influence, in the early 70s, it had about
50 members) but published a lot of material.

What a long strange trip it was for them.....
Nice post but things are a bit more nuanced than that. Of the fifty people you mention several have fallen out with each other over the years. The
Political Review often publish material that isnt in aggreement with Brendan Clifford.

The principals Clifford , Jack Lane , Walsh, Muldowney , Keenan etc have had legitimate changes of heart over the years for sure. Some times I aggree with them some times I don't.

However while they endevoured to point to the importance of the people on the island who did not consider themselves to be Irish and the need for new thinking in the are at no time were they in support of the Ulster Unionist leadership.

The last time I spoke to Clifford he said he no longer considers himself to be a Socialist. Strange how people can forgive Harris and co. for this but not people who may have had a link to B.I.C.O at some point.

As regards the Elizabeth Bowen issue I think (and this is form my reading) what was being argued is that she was not loyal to the Irish Government or the Irish State (26 counties to Republicans out there). So the basis of the thesis is linked to the fact the State (Freestate) and the Government (DeVelara administration) which had recently asserted itself in the late thirties on treaty ports etc was not good enough for her .

It is arguable (I am between two minds) that the current state and Government through Heritage trusts or academia might be better not to fall over backwards to clame her. A bit like the confusion around the time Bob Geldof was being turned into a saint in the U.K and Thatcher called
him a true Brit.
 

Podolski

Active member
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
104
Starkadder said:
Apparently, Jim Kemmy knew both Tomas MacGiolla of the Workers' Party
as well as several members of B&ICO. Kemmy may have influenced
the former organisation's embrace of anti-republican position.

See this link, *WP was in accord with Jim Kemmy* :

http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/19 ... page_7.htm
Jim Kemmy was a two-nationist. He had his own party called the Democratic Socialist Party. Of course he knew Tomás mac Giolla, they were both members of the Dáil around the same time and at one stage shared a suite of offices allocated to independents (as the smaller parties were then classed). Mac Giolla makes it clear that the WP differed with Kemmy on some issues but the issue of consent - i.e. not forcing the people of Northern Ireland into a united Ireland at the point of a gun or bomb was an area they agreed. Strange that others who attacked them at the time are taking things much further than Mac Giolla ever suggested with the new MacGuinness / Paisley axis.
 

RBinge

Active member
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
255
Re: B&ICO's History

cropbeye said:
As regards the Elizabeth Bowen issue I think (and this is form my reading) what was being argued is that she was not loyal to the Irish Government or the Irish State (26 counties to Republicans out there). So the basis of the thesis is linked to the fact the State (Freestate) and the Government (DeVelara administration) which had recently asserted itself in the late thirties on treaty ports etc was not good enough for her .
Does Aubane's scorched earth attitude to Elizabeth Bowen apply to everyone between 1939 and 1945 who fought for the allies? What was so harmful about Elizabeth Bowen giving cultural reports to the British? Mahaffey would have done the same, and Hempel would have passed similar reports to the Germans. Thousands of Irish citizens fought in the allied forces. Were they traitors too, worthy of having their national identity erased as well?

A soft target for attempted cultural cleansing.
 
S

Starkadder

PaddyDevlin said:
The authoritarianism is in the fanatical belief full integration into a nation state is the only solution (as if that one hasn't been tried before!). They've many a noble idea but do themselves a disservice with a fanatical attachment to the nation state - they don't seem fussy as to whether it is Ireland or Britain - what next an nine county independent Ulster?
I agree. I suspect the Aubane group's authoritarianism lies in
the fact that the "two-nations" theory was inspired by the
greatest authoritarian in history-Joseph Stalin.

I have seen at least two articles praising Stalin in Athol
books' publications-one by Brendan Clifford in the Dec.
2004 IPR, when he praises Stalin for "shaping it [Russia]
into the material of powerful modern state." Disturbingly,
Clifford doesn't mention this "shaping" involved the deaths
of millions. The other was in "Church & State" Sum. 2007,
where Jack Lane praised the "wonderful" Joseph Vissionarovich
Dhujashelvi for trying to "improve the lot of man".
Again, no mention of the millions he killed.


I find their pro-Stalinist attitude deeply repulsive.
 

cropbeye

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
944
Re: B&ICO's History

RBinge said:
cropbeye said:
As regards the Elizabeth Bowen issue I think (and this is form my reading) what was being argued is that she was not loyal to the Irish Government or the Irish State (26 counties to Republicans out there). So the basis of the thesis is linked to the fact the State (Freestate) and the Government (DeVelara administration) which had recently asserted itself in the late thirties on treaty ports etc was not good enough for her .
Does Aubane's scorched earth attitude to Elizabeth Bowen apply to everyone between 1939 and 1945 who fought for the allies? What was so harmful about Elizabeth Bowen giving cultural reports to the British? Mahaffey would have done the same, and Hempel would have passed similar reports to the Germans. Thousands of Irish citizens fought in the allied forces. Were they traitors too, worthy of having their national identity erased as well?

A soft target for attempted cultural cleansing.
This is a some what difficult argument in that definitions are thrown about
in different contexts to back up pre conceived views. As I said I am not absolutly convinced by the argument

but it is argumable that Bowen differend from most of the thousands you mention in that a lot of their incentive was derived from economic necessity.

Also it is arguable that as an itellectual she might have been of some service to the state by for example publicaly endorsing the return of the ports while she choose to lie in comfortable indifference.
 
S

Starkadder

Re: B&ICO's History

cropbeye said:
RBinge said:
cropbeye said:
As regards the Elizabeth Bowen issue I think (and this is form my reading) what was being argued is that she was not loyal to the Irish Government or the Irish State (26 counties to Republicans out there). So the basis of the thesis is linked to the fact the State (Freestate) and the Government (DeVelara administration) which had recently asserted itself in the late thirties on treaty ports etc was not good enough for her .
Does Aubane's scorched earth attitude to Elizabeth Bowen apply to everyone between 1939 and 1945 who fought for the allies? What was so harmful about Elizabeth Bowen giving cultural reports to the British? Mahaffey would have done the same, and Hempel would have passed similar reports to the Germans. Thousands of Irish citizens fought in the allied forces. Were they traitors too, worthy of having their national identity erased as well?

A soft target for attempted cultural cleansing.
This is a some what difficult argument in that definitions are thrown about
in different contexts to back up pre conceived views. As I said I am not absolutly convinced by the argument

but it is argumable that Bowen differend from most of the thousands you mention in that a lot of their incentive was derived from economic necessity.

Also it is arguable that as an itellectual she might have been of some service to the state by for example publicaly endorsing the return of the ports while she choose to lie in comfortable indifference.
I don't know Cropbeye, as I'm not an expert on Bowen's life or
work. However, over the last month, I spent some time in
the Cork library reading everything by or about the B&ICO/AHS
group I could find.

In both Neil Corcoran and Maud Ellman's books on Bowen,
the "Notes on Eire" book was criticised as being factually
inaccurate and unfair to Bowen (for instance, they ignored
a "New Statesman" article Bowen wrote defending Irish
neutrality).

There's an article about the controversy here:

http://www.estudiosirlandeses.org/EibhearWalshe.pdf

Besides, at least Bowen never supported Stalin.
 

cropbeye

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
944
I don't totally disagree

I do not totally disagree with you.

But it was due to her research and help to the British Government
that she discovered that the Irish populance and DeVelara Government

were serious about Neutrality and that bulldozing over this feeling would be more trouble that it was worth for Britain. Therefore she showed that
she was an intellegent observor and interpreter of the events at the time.

She came to regard the pluckiness of the Irish in this course. But it was by doing her work as a loyal friend of Britain that she came to this conclusion. By giving this good advise of the situation to her chain of command in London it proved to have a positive effect.

However it remains the fact she was approaching the whole thing from the perspective of the institutions of the British state, Judging from the hysterical pronouncement from Martin Manseragh he cant seem to deal with that basic fact.
 
S

Starkadder

IPR's hypocritical behaviour

A few years ago, the Irish Political Review came to notice when they published
the infamous 1969 letter from Sir Andrew Gilchrist, where he described an
encounter with Major McDowell, the Irish Times’ owner. McDowell
disgracefully described his editor, Douglas Gageby as a “renegade or white n*gger "
because of his pro-Nationalist coverage of Northern Ireland.

However, when Gageby was alive, Brendan Clifford and
his associates viciously attacked him. For instance, the
B&ICO’s journal “Workers’ Weekly” dismissed Gageby’s
Irish Times as a “crowd of Catholic Nationalist scribblers”
(WW 23/03/74). Later the 1985 book“ The Constitutional History of
Eire/Ireland” by Angela Clifford said:

“In those days [the 1950s] the “Irish Times” kept up a
liberal criticism of the Catholic State. Since the appointment of
Douglas Gageby as editor it has been motivated chiefly by
a detestation of Ulster Unionism, and has been anxious to explain
away the Catholic State in order not to be saying the same thing
as the Unionists.”


(Pg. 184. Note-The introduction thanks Brendan Clifford,
John Martin and David Morrison for helping her with
the book).

McDowell and the Cliffords were expressing the same sentiment-
Douglas Gageby was a traitor because his paper published material
critical of the Ulster Unionists.

Hypocrisy of the first rank.
And since when did 1950s Ulster Unionists express
“liberal” criticism of anything?
 

popper

Active member
Joined
Oct 4, 2004
Messages
297
The most interesting aspect of the story about Major McDowell - who in effect was a British agent - was that Aengus Fanning the UCD "historian"' attempted to bury the material and indeed later boasted about it.
 
S

Starkadder

popper said:
The most interesting aspect of the story about Major McDowell - who in effect was a British agent - was that Aengus Fanning the UCD "historian"' attempted to bury the material and indeed later boasted about it.
Speaking of British agents, there was a conspiracy theory in the
early 1970s that B&ICO had been set up by MI5/6 or even
the CIA. As merle haggard put it:

"They were long suspected of being a British intelligence creation , hence a lot of their apparent influence for such a small cult"

http://www.politics.ie/archive/o_t/t_12 ... index.html

The B&ICO's British offshoot, the Ernest Bevin Society, was
also criticised for defending the false claims put about
by "Living Marxism" magazine about the Balkans in
the Jan 1998 issue of its magazine,
"Labour and Trade Union Review".

[Living Marxism was run by the former members of
the Revolutionary Communist Party, another controversial
political sect. RCP & B&ICO are unconnected, although
some commentators often liken the two groups-
for instance Frank Furedi, the RCP's leader,
is sometimes compared to Brendan Clifford.

The RCP is however, another story.....].
 
S

Starkadder

popper said:
The most interesting aspect of the story about Major McDowell - who in effect was a British agent - was that Aengus Fanning the UCD "historian"' attempted to bury the material and indeed later boasted about it.
I think you're mixing up the historian Ronan Fanning and the Sunday
Independent's editor, Aengus Fanning.

Brendan Clifford was born in Gneeves, Sliabh Luachra, Kerry (I
don't know the exact date, but in the book "Notes on Eire" he
said he was a child in the 1930s). He moved to the UK in the
1950s, where he worked as a gravedigger. He joined the
Communist Party of Great Britain, then the ultra-Stalinist
Committee to Defeat Revisionism, for Communist Unity.
He married Angela Khalil and befriended Dennis Dennehy,
the Dublin Housing Action Committee guy, during this time.
He then took part in the Irish Communist Group, with
Eamonn Mccann and Sean Matgamna.

This group later split into
the Trotskyist Irish Workers Group and Clifford's Maoist
Irish Communist Organisation. Clifford
was in Dublin in 1967, meeting the Connolly Youth Movement
and giving speeches. Orginally the ICO
was pro-Nationalist, but around 1970 started taking
the pro-Unionist view for which it became infamous for.
This proved too much for the Cork segment-after their
protests were ignored, they left to become the
Cork Communist Organisation

http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2007/1 ... /#comments

Clifford then moved on to defending internment, the RUC and the
UWC strike, becoming the guy we all know and, er..... :roll:
 
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