McGuinness’ hero on royal visits…

JAMES Connolly is an undoubted hero of Martin McGuinness’ – the deputy First Minister even invoked him in a speech as as recently as last month. But I wonder if this icon of republicanism’s ‘patriot dead’ would have approved of McGuinness meeting the Queen? Here’s some of Connolly’s thoughts on a previous royal visitor to Ireland, King George V in 1911. Different rules for a different era?

Knowing from previous experience of Royal Visits, as well as from the Coronation orgies of the past few weeks, that the occasion will be utilised to make propaganda on behalf of royalty and aristocracy against the oncoming forces of democracy and National freedom, we desire to place before you some few reasons why you should unanimously refuse to countenance this visit, or to recognise it by your presence at its attendant processions or demonstrations.

Let the capitalist and landlord class flock to exalt him; he is theirs; in him they see embodied the idea of caste and class; they glorify him and exalt his importance that they might familiarise the public mind with the conception of political inequality, knowing well that a people mentally poisoned by the adulation of royalty can never attain to that spirit of self-reliant democracy necessary for the attainment of social freedom.

Fellow-workers, stand by the dignity of your class. All these parading royalties, all this insolent aristocracy, all these grovelling, dirt-eating capitalist traitors, all these are but signs of disease in any social state – diseases which a royal visit brings to a head and spews in all its nastiness before our horrified eyes.