“I was not seeking to endorse such cynical exploitation of people’s prejudices..”

The corrective to a David Adams article on Thursday, from Adrian Guelke of Queen’s University, in today’s Irish Times letters page brings some welcome clarity to Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams’ recent invocation of Afrikaners. From Adrian Guelke

What Gerry Adams was doing in his New York speech was invoking a previous negative stereotype of Afrikaners to criticise people he considered hardline Unionists. A listener raised the use of negative stereotypes of other ethnic groups, such as the Serbs. I responded by noting that in the recent conflict between Georgia and Russia, the existence of a negative stereotype of the Russians dating from the Soviet era had made it easy for a number of Western politicians to blame Russia for a conflict that had in fact been initiated by Georgia. In saying sadly that this was the way of the world, I was not seeking to endorse such cynical exploitation of people’s prejudices but simply to acknowledge that demonisation of whole nations can be an effective political ploy. I was not saying I liked this reality.

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  • Pete

    Sinn Fein is surely engaged in the greatest single smokescreen tactic ploy of any political grouping in history.

    Here is this obnoxious little group of Neanderthals and Satanists lead by the Antichrist himself (See my website), who have been responsible for the most heinous crimes against humanity, lecturing the world about their ethics.

    It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious.

  • Patrick

    WOW nice bit of insane ranting to start the day, Thanks John.
    I believe that Adams was being very clever here in his choice of words. He is attempting to isolate the extreme unionists and reduce them to a minority. This was more of an olive branch than it looked.

  • What a wonderful po-faced response from Guelke to Davy Adam’s ‘piss take’ of his namesake. I suppose it’s just a matter of time before Gerry rides down the Shankill on a donkey.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Pete,

    why no thread on the negative Unionist reaction by Wee Reggie and Big Jibmo to the movement by the DUP?

    No thread on the admission by the DUP that they feared Anglo-Irish direct Rule and therfore had to move?

  • “who have been responsible for the most heinous crimes against humanity”

    Seriously? Bad as the IRA may have been, that kind of hyperbole serves nobody.

  • Tazia Doll

    Didn’t the good IRB type people, help the Boers?

    The Irish Transvaal Brigade delayed British forces under Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts who took Pretoria on 5 June 1900, they also looked after French guns bombarding Ladysmith.

    Adams has a talent for drawing a shade over previously celebrated components of Irish Republicanism.

  • Tazia Doll

    “Seriously? Bad as the IRA may have been, that kind of hyperbole serves nobody.”

    Their track record for ignoring the Geneva Convention was darn near the most perfect this side of the Congo.

  • No IRA action even comes close to ‘the most heinous crimes against humanity’ that have occurred over the last couple of centuries, let alone history. To suggest otherwise is idiotic.

    The Tutsis, the Jews, the Armenians, the Bosniaks or those currently suffering in Darfur would beg to differ with any fool who thought the IRA to be amongst the worst humanity has to offer.

  • Patrick

    nice bit of insane ranting to start the day, Thanks John.
    I believe that Adams was being very clever

    ditto.

    When was Adams ever very clever unless you call getting himself into a position of power by relying on the goodwill of those people who were desperate for him to stop doing what made him seem very clever, organising the killing of people. Patrick, you simply have no values worth honouring. Adams is, for example, perhaps the worst negotiator ever to have graced this fine land.

    Niall

    The Tutsis, the Jews, the Armenians, the Bosniaks or those currently suffering in Darfur

    Funnily enough, I was talking to a republican recently who, being a history teacher, believed that genocide would be the final and JUST solution to the problems of the North.

    The impulse for genocide is declared when a single person is killed because of their politics and/or relgion.

    Scale is the only thing that distinguishes your examples from the IRA’s actions.

  • “The impulse for genocide is declared when a single person is killed because of their politics and/or relgion.

    Scale is the only thing that distinguishes your examples from the IRA’s actions.”

    No idea what the “impulse for genocide” is supposed to mean. There’s very clear definitions of what constitutes genocide in international law. It doesn’t apply here.

    As for scale being the only feature that distinguishes the IRA’s actions from the examples I listed, I don’t accept that for reasons too numerous to mention, but even if I did, you could easily say the same thing about the British army’s actions in the North, the actions of almost any army anywhere on the planet when engaged in warfare, the execution of Saddam, the killing of Gary Gilmore….

    It’s claptrap.

  • Niall

    could easily say the same thing about the British army’s actions in the North, the actions of almost any army anywhere on the planet when engaged in warfare, the execution of Saddam, the killing of Gary Gilmore….

    If you are guilty of killing purely for political or sectarian or racial motives you have genocide within you. That is your ultimate dream if you could get away with it. You don’t want to understand because it doesn’t suit your own agenda of trying to exculpate the past from SF/IRA. Any one who has a gun is potentially a genocidal maniac.

    Genocide is very much part of the Old Testament tradition that Sinn Fein are involved in. The Adam in Gerry Adams name is for a reason. It is to show that SF have rejected Christ in favour of the Old Testament.

  • Pete Baker

    Guys

    If we could get back to the actual topic?

    Rather than simply retreat into overly-familiar arguments unconnected to the content of the original post.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Weren’t the Afrikaners the ones who opposed majority rule?

  • Wilde Rover

    Tazia Doll,

    “Didn’t the good IRB type people, help the Boers?”

    Quite right.

    Gerry Adams,

    “Few human beings of my acquaintance are as petty and mean spirited and negative as those in the Afrikaner wing of unionism.”

    From Arthur Griffith’s wiki entry:

    “He visited South Africa from 1897 to 1898, after the defeat and death of Charles Stewart Parnell whose more moderate views he had initially supported, while recovering from tuberculosis. There he supported the Boers against British expansionism and was a strong admirer of Paul Kruger.”

    So it could be argued that Sinn Fein’s origins can be traced to the influence of the Afrikaners.

    John MacBride refused a blindfold before his execution in 1916, saying “I have looked down the muzzles of too many guns in the South African war to fear death and now please carry out your sentence.”

    So basically either Gerry Adams intentionally condemned Sinn Fein and early militant republicanism or he made a glib comment that betrays his ignorance of the history of a movement he purports to lead.

  • simple simon

    To return to topic.
    I laughed when I read Adrian Guelke’s “corrective”, which, if read thoroughly, isn’t really much of a corrective at all.
    Let’s just say his memory of said interview, which I listened to, is a bit hazy.
    He spent the time arguing that the Boers were no longer as they had been, but not once did he mention that unionists should not be compared with the old-style Boers.
    And not once did Dunseith challenge Adams’ unionists equals Afrikaners assertion, but spent the entire interview laying out “evidence” to back it up.
    And it was he not Guelke, who said that “it is the way of the world to demonise groups of people like the Serbs and the unionists, Guelke just agreed with him.

  • Wilde Rover,

    Sinn Féin was not a republican organisation until 1917 or so. It was influenced by Hungary much more than the Boers, who received support on the basis that the British were trying to deny them the right to self-determination because they had access to valuable resources.

  • I’ve just read some of Gerry’s address to the peanut gallery. The PRM has acquired a new wing that is bound to strike fear into Unionists; it’s The Committee

    The irony of the following words will probably have been lost on his audience:

    It’s about making politics work. It’s about delivering for citizens on all the issues affecting them in their daily lives.

    So the (150+) days of boycott are at an end …

  • Wilde Rover

    Garibaldy,

    Yes but, Dual Monarchy aside, there is a clear SF connection with the Afrikaners from an early stage and the Anglo-Boer conflict helped to build support for later military action in Ireland.

  • I don’t really think the IRB and associates needed the help of the Boers to decide on military action given Irish history, but it may have played some part.

  • Plastic Paddy

    “Weren’t the Afrikaners the ones who opposed majority rule?”

    Quite right, Jimmy Sands, as are the unionists . . . once one stops looking at the population of Ireland through the artificial lens of partition.