Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Should Irish Times ex-Trot Journalists Throw Stones in their Glass-House?

with 4 comments

This is a fascinating article about the far-left history of many new TD’s.

Left Lineages

where the talented author Patrick Smyth observes “Today the majority of them, now firmly in the bosom of Labour, have rejected revolution, embrace wholeheartedly its centrist social democratic values, and are politically indistinguishable from their Old Labour colleagues.”

Absolutely right.

Ex-comrade Patrick Smyth advises his current fellow-thinkers not to get too alarmed by the growth of the real fighting left “Although the ULA should work as an informal marriage of convenience, attempts to create a party out of its constituent elements may prove more difficult. Ideological purity on the hard left comes easier than the much-desired oxymoron that is “left unity”.

Smyth might be right – it is up to us – supporters of the United left Alliance who favour moving the process forward to the building of a new left-wing party going “beyond the (existing) fragments” – to prove him wrong in practice.  We might not succeed, but we are not afraid to try.

Paddy Smyth is looking at the problem from a different angle – he is using a bit of code to reassure right-wing pals who study the Irish Times.  Oxymoron is “a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms”.  That is Paddy’s opinion of “left unity”.

What are “centrist social democratic values”?

Patrick Smyth (a former Trotskyist member of the Militant/Socialist Party), was no doubt inspired by “centrist social democratic values”, when he was personally responsible for the biased Irish Times coverage of the Lisbon Treaty Referendums.  The No Side hardly got a look-in, and was hilariously misrepresented as only a bunch of far-right Catholic fundamentalists.

Answer – “centrist social democratic values” seems to include rigging Irish Times coverage of the Lisbon Referenda in favour of the ruling right, denying left-wing opponents reasonable access o the pages of a leading daily newspaper, and pretending that the No side is dominated by the Catholic far-right.  That leaves “centrist social democratic values” looking like a double or treble oxymoron – a figure of speech that combines more than two contradictory terms.

Our advice to people who live in glass houses is that they should not throw stones.

4 Responses

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  1. Yeah, it surprised me how antagonistic his tone was to be honest. Even if he disagreed with the ULA and all its works you’d think he might be a bit more measured given that they’d actually been elected as public representatives.


    Mar 5, 2011 at 4:23 pm

  2. Maybe Paddy Smyth will offer a guest column to a former Irish Times journalist, Ed Moloney, who has written about working in Libya during the 1970’s, and tells us very interesting things about a history of resistance to foreign domination and links with the Irish Republican Army.

    Moloney observes :
    “(Question: What did the Romans ever do for the Libyans? Answer: Nothing) By 1958, the United Nations calculated that Libya was the third poorest country in the world”.


    Mar 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

  3. Just read Paddy’s piece in the Times today (Sat 26/3) as he revels at being a war monger. It is by far the most extraordinary piece of hair-rained propoganda for war that I have ever come across, and I studied Churchill!.

    Jim O'Sullivan

    Mar 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

  4. Thanks Jim – here is abetter-looking article :

    David Cameron Makes His Bones in Libya, NeoCon-style

    Ed Moloney, the author, is ex-Irish Times!


    Mar 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm

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