Is The Charlottesville Rammer Irish?

This post will probably get me into trouble. But, what the hell!

What do you think? Hmmm…..

Answers on a postcard to Niall O’Dowd, Editor & Publisher, The Irish Voice, New York……

Virginia police mugshot of James Fields, of Ohio, charged with killing one person and wounding 19 others when he rammed his car into an anti-fascist protest in Charlottesville on Saturday.

 

Niall O’Dowd Sells Out To Trump On Immigration

None of what follows will surprise anyone who has watched, or experienced, Niall O’Dowd’s journalistic and political career over the last three or so decades.

Cynical opportunism and an eye for the main chance have characterised his behaviour as editor/publisher of The Irish Voice, during his bromance with Sinn Fein, especially its leader Gerry Adams, and his wooing of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party.

Niall O’Dowd – wants Ireland to accept Trump’s ‘only English speakers’ immigration plan

But expressing support for Trump’s racist immigration plans – only English speakers need apply – and urging the Irish community here in America and back in Ireland to break with the opposition to Trump and strike their own visa deal with possibly the most racist, overbearing, dangerous and despotic US president ever to occupy the White House is a breathtaking low.

The message that this would send to the civilized world, that Irish political and community leaders should side with the Trump White House’s overt racism, and implicitly endorse all the other horrors of his administration (including nuclear sabre-rattling to N.Korea), to ensure that a few thousand more Irish people – potential Irish Voice readers? – gain entry to the US, is horribly reminiscent of the worst kind of appeasement to pre-war fascism in Europe.

But that is precisely the message O’Dowd is sending, both in this Irish Voice article, reprinted below, and in interviews he has apparently given to RTE radio in Dublin.

Now it’s official. The one time Hillary Clinton devotee and Gerry Adams aficianado has now joined the American alt.right. Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller are now O’Dowd’s new buddies. Because that is what the article below means.

Read it:

It is time for Irish to go it alone on immigration reform

@niallodowd

 

Campaigners rallying in 2007 for comprehensive immigration reform: It's time for the Irish to go it alone.

Campaigners rallying in 2007 for comprehensive immigration reform: It’s time for the Irish to go it alone. Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform

Comprehensive immigration reform is dead – the Irish need to work with Trump’s plan

Did you know approximately 143,500 Irish-born people live in America down from 250,000 in 1980? In a few years because of immigration restrictions, there will be none.

Annie Moore from Cork, the first person off at Ellis Island will turn in her grave.

What are the Irish communities in the US going to do about it?

First, we must face reality. Comprehensive immigration reform is dead. It is time for the Irish to unhitch their wagon from that particular dead horse.

Second, there are significant positives in Donald Trump’s new immigration plan and the Irish need to work with it.

Third, the best hope for Ireland is a go-it-alone strategy.

Donald Trump’s new immigration plan

In a week when New York Times columnist Ross Douthat called out the left on its continued obsession with not appearing racist on immigration, it is time we all embraced a new reality.

Douthat wrote: “…liberalism has gone a little bit insane on immigration, digging into a position that any restrictions are ipso facto racist, and any policy that doesn’t take us closer to open borders is illegitimate and un-American.”

Hear hear! The left has lost its way on immigration. Britain, Australia, Canada all favor English-speaking graduates who immediately contribute to the economy. Trump is merely suggesting the same priorities for the United States.

"There are significant positives in Donald Trump’s new immigration plan."

“There are significant positives in Donald Trump’s new immigration plan.”

Currently, America is continuing its immigration obsession of family reunification, prioritizing even immigrants’ adult brothers and sisters living abroad whose visas take up to 12 years to process. The system is absurd and broken.

Ireland is one of the countries most badly affected. The Irish simply cannot immigrate legally to the United States. Yet, if we say that we are accused of overlooking other countries’ needs and breaking the compact on comprehensive reform for all.

If the election of Donald Trump clarified one thing it was that Americans have no appetite for comprehensive immigration reform – quite the opposite.

1965 Immigration Reform Act betrayed the Irish

We need to talk about the 1965 Immigration Reform Act and how it betrayed the Irish, one of the founding groups of this country who contributed mightily to its success (read Washington’s St. Patrick’s Day message to his Irish troops if you need convincing or Lincoln kissing the Irish flag at Harrison’s Landing after the Irish Brigade fought fearlessly for him.)

Yet we have been essentially excluded from America since 1965. We get one fifth of one percent of the million green cards a year. Somehow, if you lobby for the Irish it makes you an odd person as if you are not supposed to lobby for your own people but instead lobby for work visas for every country on earth.

E3 Visas – Go it alone

Consider this, Australia did some smart lobbying a few years back and got 10,500 visas a year for themselves – all on their own. Google the term “E3 visas” if you don’t believe me. How many Australians fought with Washington, gave their blood in foreign wars, died to preserve the Union?

The Irish government has been trying hard, but the effort needs a new intensity and focus which I believe should be an E3 visa scheme for Ireland which would re-establish the links between two countries forever bound together by history.

We should use the Trump proposals as a starting point. Unless we do this, soon enough an Irish-born man or woman will be as rare in America as hen’s teeth. It is not good enough.

In Case You Were Still Wondering What A Golden Shower Was…..

Trump On Nukes: ‘If We Have Them, Why Can’t We Use Them?’

Dr. Strangelove Meets Donald Trump

Remember General Jack D Ripper, the loony American military leader who starts World War III, in Stanley Kubrick’s hilariously scary movie about the outbreak of nuclear conflict between the US and the Soviet Union?

In a macabre and chilling example of life imitating art, America is now led by a man who almost makes General Ripper appear rational and sane and who has pushed the world noticeably closer to a nuclear catastrophe with an untutored choice of words.

The task of removing Donald Trump from the White House has never been more necessary or urgent than now.

As I write this, America’s cable news channels are broadcasting stories assessing the rival military resources of the US and N. Korea should it come to a nuclear exchange. The horrifically abnormal suddenly becomes normal.

I was going to end by saying ‘enjoy this clip’, but somehow that seems to be in bad taste:

Not Even Eight Months In Power And Trump Threatens Nuclear Holocaust

Responding to sabre-rattling from N. Korea’s tinpot dictator, the leader of the free world replied in kind:

‘They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump told reporters.

Maybe it’s time to ask Sean Garland to take a trip to Pyongyang to explain to his old buddy’s son that the guy they are dealing with thinks he’s hosting a TV reality show and is actually capable of totally losing it. So maybe it’s time to cool it. Go Sean!

Memories Of The Cavan-Monaghan Hunger Strike Election Of 1981

I recently came across a clip on Facebook of RTE television news’ coverage of the count in the Cavan-Monaghan constituency in the 1981 Irish general election, one of two seats won by protesting/hunger striking republican prisoners, and the memories came flooding back – and they weren’t all happy ones.

You can watch the clip here and it is fascinating not just to see such a young Vincent Browne in action, but to observe how out of touch the Irish journalistic elite was with the attitudes of so many ordinary Irish people towards the republican hunger strike in the H Blocks, then in its fourth month and fourth death.

To give him his due, while Browne had completely missed the story and had not at all expected the H Block candidates to do so well – hunger striker Kieran Doherty won a seat in Cavan-Monaghan while Paddy Agnew won in Louth (now Gerry Adams’ seat) – he did realise that something akin to a political earthquake had just shaken the Irish political system.

My own admittedly small role in the coverage of the Cavan-Monaghan count was one of those occasions when I gained a valuable insight – or perhaps confirmation is a better word – of how malformed Irish journalism had become thanks to the Northern Troubles.

In June 1981, I had taken over as stand-in Northern Editor of The Irish Times from David McKittrick, who had moved to the London office, but my family was still in Dublin where we had moved when I was first hired by the Times. So I was commuting, mostly at the weekends, between Belfast and Dublin.

The news-desk in D’Olier Street knew this and asked if I would mind stopping off to cover the count in Cavan-Monaghan. I happily agreed and made my way to, I think it was Monaghan town for the tally. Irish election counts are always entertaining affairs and this one had the added spice of a Provo prisoner challenging the establishment. So I was looking forward to the spectacle.

Before I set off, I got hold of the election notebook for Cavan-Monaghan to familiarise myself with the various candidates. The Times published notebooks for every constituency in the run up to polling day and while often less than inspiring pieces of literature, these articles were nonetheless an invaluable who’s who guide to the contest.

But when I read the Cavan-Monaghan article there was scarcely a mention of the H Blocks candidate. Fianna Fail and Fine Gael were all over the page; this was a Border constituency and the parties who had fought out the civil war had dominated politics in the area ever since. So it was Fine Gael this, and Fianna Fail that, but virtually no mention of Kieran Doherty or the National H Blocks committee running his campaign.

So I set off, thinking that despite the evident outpouring of support for the H Blocks campaign in Nationalist areas of the North, it looked as if the prisoners would be out of luck on the other side of the Border.

And then I crossed the Border into Monaghan and drove from there to Cavan and back again.

Virtually every crossroads I passed was festooned with black flags and banners urging a vote for Doherty, and between crossroads black flags fluttered from telephone poles and lamp-posts.

It was obvious that a massive machine had been mobilised behind the H Blocks campaign and that if so many people were willing to hoist the thousands of flags and banners that I had seen, then it was very likely that an awful lot of people in Cavan-Monaghan would likely vote for Kieran Doherty.

So when, later that evening, the IRA prisoner, who would die less than two months later, ran second to Fianna Fail minister, John Wilson by 300 or so votes, I was not at all surprised.

But establishment Ireland was. In fact it was shocked to learn that their own people were ready to vote for people like Doherty and Agnew.

Nowhere was this shock more pronounced that in Dublin journalism. Not only had the Irish Times’ profiler of Cavan-Monaghan managed not to see the hosts of black flags and banners that had greeted me, but even someone like Vincent Browne, a guy who I had always regarded as one of most shrewd reporters in the business, had missed the story.

So why? Well there’s no doubt there was a Dublin-centric influence at work which translated into journalists reflecting the views and attitudes of the politicians and power-brokers they covered day and daily, and as far as the republican hunger strike went, there was no-one in the Irish establishment who wished it well or would want to read such stuff as they cracked open their breakfast boiled egg.

We saw something similar happening in the US last November with Donald Trump’s election, the shock of which was magnified by the fact that so many in the mainstream, Washington-centred media – the so-called beltway media – had completely missed seeing it come.

But in Cavan-Monaghan all those many years ago, how could the media have missed that multitude of black flags, except that they chose not to see them for fear that to draw attention to them might also draw an unwelcome scrutiny of themselves?

In the twisted world of Irish journalism then, and now, to tell it as it was is far too often not regarded as good, healthy objective, fact-based journalism but as an expression of individual bias or wishful thinking.

I suspect this has always been a feature of Irish society – and perhaps of the human condition – but it got appreciably worse in the years after 1981, when Sinn Fein mounted an increasingly effective electoral challenge to a terrified political establishment. And it has continued, perhaps even intensified, during the years of the peace process. Ironically, Sinn Fein was the victim of one but the beneficiary of the other.

It was during these years, years when truth-telling was not always a healthy pastime for a journalist, that I peddled my trade on a daily or weekly basis, and more than once my mind went back to that count in Cavan-Monaghan and the lesson I had learned from the crossroads I had driven through.

You will know, I am sure, the fable of the King’s new clothes which ends with a boy stepping from the crowd to tell the truth: ‘the King is naked’. In the Irish version of the story, the crowd turns on the boy and tears him to pieces.