Friday, 19 August 2016

Spiked, August 19, 2016


The age of belligerent victimhood
From BLM to feminism, too many want to play the victim.

Spiked, August 12, 2016


Veganism isn’t a diet – it’s an ideology
Vegans are more interested in being pure than saving the planet.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Spiked August 8, 2016


'Post-truth politics': a smear on the masses
Those denouncing Brexit voters as hoodwinked fools are starting to sound like a cult.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Spiked July 15, 2016


The EU: a disaster waiting to happen
From its inception, the European Union has been destined for ruin.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Spiked, July 8, 2016


The post-Brexit ugliness of the left
Money-obsessed and anti-working class – the liberal left has revealed its ugly side.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Spiked, June 24, 2016


In praise of dead white males
Freud, Marx and Nietzsche continue to shape our world.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Catholic Herald, June 3, 2016


An anti-Establishment take on the 1916 Rising

1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition
By Kieran Allen, Pluto Press, £12.99


Perspectives on the Easter Rising tend to assume two forms these days. On the one hand, they depict and revere the 1916 insurrection as a foundation myth of the modern Irish state. On the other, they regard it as a bloody betrayal of constitutionalism which left the island physically and emotionally divided. Kieran Allen takes a third position. He believes that the events in the Dublin GPO and elsewhere throughout Ireland were indeed a blow for Irish freedom, the culmination of Ireland’s revolutionary tradition – but that this tradition was betrayed by the Irish themselves. 
Allen, previously author of Austerity Ireland, is very much of the hard leftist tradition that is antagonistic towards nationalism, religion and capitalism. He has little sympathy for today’s Irish politicians who invoke the spirit of 1916. “The current Irish state is not a product of the Rising – it owes its existence to the counter-revolution of 1923,” he writes.
The IRA and the Republican movement’s failure to support the Labour movement in the crucial years from 1916 to 1923, focusing instead solely on military strategy, fatally compromised the revolutionary, anti-imperialist struggle against the British. “The Free State, however, offered its population one compensation for the dashed hopes of the revolutionary years – strict Catholic morality.” Allen speaks about religion as if it is imposed unwillingly from above, as though working-class individuals have no free will of their own. 
There is much rhetoric here, too, about “the Establishment”, “privilege” and “elites”. But the author is no Dave O’Spart and this book has many surprises. Allen demolishes the myth that the “good old IRA fought a fair, clean fight unlike the ‘terrorists’ of the Provos” between 1918 and 1923. The old IRA shot police officers in cold blood and executed informers. I didn’t know, either, that a soviet was established in Limerick in April 1919. 
We should have more books like this. For a tenured sociologist, Allen writes with a rare lucidity. And when it comes to history as blessed by politicians and the Establishment, a counter-narrative is always welcome.

Patrick West