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Eoghan Harris's hidden agenda

Leinsterview

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Feb 4, 2014
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761
17/4/2017
Certain thoughts immediately spring to mind on reading Eoghan Harris's recent outpourings:
There is something here that does not quite hang together.
There is more to this than meets the eye.
I see him bringing up Coolacrease yet again. Fair enough. But his disapproval of the Coolacrease executions coupled with his affirmation of the 77 Free State government executions suggest some moral confusion.
Now onto the main substance of his recent articles:
Eoghan Harris is viscerally partitionist in his outlook and is scared stiff of Northern nationalist empowerment.
There, I have said it. Usually the conclusion/denouement comes at the end of the argument but I think it appropriate in this case to put it at the beginning.
Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of politics, and indeed of arithmetic would realize, looking down the road, that an FG/FF coalition is the only option on the table for a durable/stable government.
He has banged on (to use one of his more recent clichés) 'every bloody Sunday' about the dangers of a grand coalition. He reckons that a grand coalition would leave SF in pole position as the main opposition party and well placed to step into government at some stage. Nothing wrong with that analysis so far.
With a bit of additional analysis the following would become apparent:

1. The 'war' generation in SF are now in their twilight political years.
2. Linked with this, SF will eventually evolve into yet another mainstream, nondescript, centrist political party (travelling the road of FF in the 20's and 30's).
3. There is a slow and irreversible decline in the *combined* vote of the Civil War parties.

All this points to SF eventually getting into government -- the only question is when. A FF/FG coalition would have lasted 4/5 years. The minority government farce with which we now appear to be about to be stuck may last a year at most. The two year (at least) difference is a hell of a long, and paradigm-determinative, time in the residual life cycle of the SF war generation. When you tie all this together the ironic end result of the recent Harrisist anti-'grand coalition' onslaught is that it makes it more likely that they will get into power with Gerry and the boys still hovering around.
He has been scraping the barrel for even the most fatuous arguments for differentiating between FG and FF so as to undermine the ideological compatibility argument for a coalition of both parties -- the most ridiculous being the nuanced psychosocial contrast between the supporters of the Munster Senior Cup finalists.
He has even pressed into service one well-worn tactic from the Conor Cruise O'Brien playbook: when you see something you don't like on the political horizon raise the spectre of a civil war in order to frighten the horses.
What makes SF stick out with the voter is what is seriously freaking out Harris: they are the only major party with a serious foothold North and South.
If Harris were generally concerned about SF's lingering whiff of brimstone he would be pressing for their ongoing detoxification rather than their permanent marginalization; the fact that he has plumped for the latter, I think, betrays a hidden agenda. He of all people, with his Official SF background, ought to know that it is possible for a party with paramilitary baggage to benignly metamorphose. The 64,000 dollar question: what is the hidden agenda leading him to push for marginalization rather than detoxification?:
Harris simply does not want those uppity NI nationalists getting above themselves by having their main party having a serious role in the Southern Government -- whether it is a sanitized and exorcised SF (or indeed any political party) or an SF still with the faint aroma of sulphur.
I say 'or indeed any other political party'. If Fianna Fail were a serious force in NI and a likely serious force in government there we would probably be treated to something like the following in the sindo:

As the great British thinker, John Maynard Keynes, said: 'when the facts change my opinions change'.
I may have been supportive of and engaged with FF in the past -- even to the extent of accepting a senate seat -- but I cannot be bought. I changed my views about doctrinaire Irish Republicanism in the seventies and doctrinaire Marxism in the eighties. I am now changing my views about Fianna Fáil.
This is a party conceived of violent republicanism whose founding fathers caused and fought a civil war; their political descendents, now on the verge of government North and South, may now be the midwives of a far worse one.
There is something disturbingly prescient in Conor Cruise O'Brien's warning in the Dáil in 1970:

''Fianna Fail are a sick party. They are incubating the germs of a civil war.''

This did not happen; the warnings of awesomely-endowed political seers like O'Brien penetrated. And FF was a largely benign force in the ensuing decades. But, as Albert Camus wrote, at the end of La Peste-- in chilling resonance with the O'Brien trope -- the bacillus of the plague can lie dormant for years 'in furniture and linen' and may again one day 'waken its rats and send them to die in a happy city'.
Fianna Fáil's destructive history, or pre-history, is now likely to resurface like the cells of a long-dormant cancer: the quasi-united Ireland resulting from their ascent to dual government will destabilize the island and result in a civil war compared to which the 1921-1923 conflict would be an inconspicuous squabble.
It is the duty of all responsible political parties and the mass media to make sure that they do not get their hands on the levers of power.


Also if EH thought things through logically he would realize that a spell in government in the South would be a surefire way of driving a stake through SF's heart: they would be forced to change from a party of protest to a party that had to take tough executive decisions; their natural constituency would be alienated; and they would melt away like the late-lamented Labour Party.
I rest my case. I am also bracing myself for more of the same in the sindo in future weeks.
Incidentally I am not an SF supporter: I think their economic policies are frankly loopy and they have still a fair bit to travel along the 'detoxification' road. However I feel a need to call out Harrisist codology when I see it.
So there you have it. Once you realize that EH has a visceral distaste for Northern nationalist empowerment it all begins to 'hang together'.
 
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galteeman

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Nothing hidden about his agenda, he doesn't like Sinn Fein so he doesn't want FF-FG to merge and give space to Sinn Fein.
 

Prester Jim

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Yah, it isn't hidden at all, maybe the hidden part is the one he keeps from himself; that he is an irrelevant old joke that was once a very sinister man and could have been our Stalin (in his own head purely) if we were into the 'aul dictators as a people.
 

galteeman

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It's not just Harris's agenda seeing as the Independent newspapers in general are championing FF, behind which is also the likely desire to suppress Sinn Fein.
 

Levellers

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Harris is a busted flush fighting a war that ended 20 years ago. Mind you he is still earning a crust demonising everything Irish.
 

derryman

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Why are any of you giving the has been flip flopping backward looking any credence at all by even acknowledging that he writes unmitigated bile and fantasy?
 

dent

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Harris is a busted flush fighting a war that ended 20 years ago. Mind you he is still earning a crust demonising everything Irish.
No more than SF/IRA, who have, for now, changed the way they carry it out.
 

Strawberry

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I only ever hear about this individual on this forum. He's completely insignificant, although it says something about the state of our media that he's given a pay cheque for his schtick.

He's far too insignificant to be worth a thread though.
 

GDPR

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The Shinners are hardly that radical at all now.

The thing about the "War generation" dying off is that they know how horrible the last Troubles were so dont want to go back to it and there are no guarantees that a new generation will automatically be "nicer".

Anti-Shinner hysterics probably contribute to their vote in both states and work against the cause of peace and stability in Northern Ireland.
 
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turdsl

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He does not get much airtime now,mainly because with R, D Edwards are living in the past
and trying to keep alive the ghost of the failed Labour politician Connor Cruise O Brien.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Eoghan has been stalking himself for decades. Followed himself and observed himself attending meetings of the Workers Party, subsequently noting that he himself had tea with John Bruton and then the Ulster Unionists and to his deep discomfort saw himself being rewarded by Bertie Ahern with a seat in the Senate.

All he has ever written about is his own trail. You can get away with a lot by referring to decent literature every now and then.

I see he has of late recruited poor dead Albert Camus for the honour of walking beside him.

As Albert himself said; 'The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than futile and hopeless labour.'

Eoghan always was his own Lee Harvey Oswald. Problem was that his familiar target never reached public heights sufficient to self-make his fame as his own assassin.
 

Socratus O' Pericles

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QI was hoping this was going to be another of those obituary threads........a slimeball, especially in his personal life of which I know a little.....he used to go around in a leather coat like a self styled Stasi Operative in the late 70s....a pr!ck of inordinate proportions.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
He does not get much airtime now,mainly because with R, D Edwards are living in the past
and trying to keep alive the ghost of the failed Labour politician Connor Cruise O Brien.
I was invited to some talk a few months ago at which Deadly-Upwards was to publicly recommence her whining at the notion of an Ireland but I thought it best to just let that fading horsewoman pass by.

I'm all for jaw-jaw rather than war-war but my ears wouldn't hear of it.
 

4horsemen

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The Shinners are hardly that radical at all now.

The thing about the "War generation" dying off is that they know how horrible the last Troubles were so dont want to go back to it and there are no guarantees that a new generation will automatically be "nicer".

Anti-Shinner hysterics probably contribute to their vote in both states and work against the cause of peace and stability in Northern Ireland.
I reckon a more rational future for Irish politics is that FG move to a more clearly right of centre position where they will be joined by elements of FF (probably via the cover of temporary 'independent'). SF will ditch their northern godfathers and demonstrate where they really are i.E slightly left of centre and will be joined by their pre-split brethren in FF.
(Before some SF hack says they are socialist please provide evidence of policy on a single tier health system, rates on farmland and non-religious education)
 
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Northern Whig

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Why do people care what Eoghan Harris thinks?

I think you give him far more credit than he deserves by even paying attention to him.
 

Accidental sock

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Here's the thing I respect about EH....
 

redneck

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Eoghan Harris is a divorced man. He carries some bitterness, a bit like Ruth Dudley Edwards it seems.
A positive for him is he speaks fluent Irish.
It would be nice to hear him talk about his own failings some times, as distinct from others.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Always seen him as someone who wants to be regarded as a power broker, which explains his patchwork career as a political fixer.

Well known for throwing his toys out of the pram whenever he hears the word 'no'. His wikipedia entry is amusing for the close juxtaposition of the description of him as a 'journalist and fiction writer'. It might have been tidier to have combined those descriptions into 'opinion-editorial'.

I honestly think he sees himself as a sort of Irish Alastair Campbell.
 

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