Perhaps I should change that headline to a more accurate one?
“British Violence (By Irish People For Britain) Good, Irish Violence (By Irish People Against Britain) Bad”
For that in essence is the argument put forward by former Taoiseach and aficionado of several right-wing think-tanks John Bruton in a number of recent speeches. Of course his diatribes against the foundation of his own nation-state (for that is what they are) have been welcomed by the Righter-than-Right press in Ireland most of whom hold the same hypocritical views. The term for such a person in modern Irish political parlance is a “Neo-Unionist” or someone who longs for the “good old days” of British rule over the entirety our small island nation, of Union Jacks flying over the GPO and garden parties for the Governor General in the grounds of the Viceregal Lodge (now the residence of those upstart presidents of Ireland).
Of course some argue that such people are not so far gone in their delusional ideology as to be British Unionists per se but are instead simply partitionists: “Southern Irelanders” by any other name. This can be seen perhaps in some of their more irrational obsessions. The insistence that no one in the public eye should use the word “Ireland” for the Irish state but must use the invented term “Republic of Ireland” so (in their fervid imaginations) separating the nation from its island territory. However the partitionist excuse seems harder to justify with each passing year. When Irish journalists write or speak about “mainland Britain” in relation to differences with the country of Ireland, when they call the north-east of Ireland “Ulster” and the city of Derry by the British name of “Londonderry” then it is more than the closed minds and historical myopia of the Dublin overclass. These folk, those who shed copious tears for their grandfathers and great-grandfathers who fought in British uniforms on behalf of the British Empire while denigrating those who rejected the uniform of the Occupier and instead took up arms against that empire (and all empires), these folk would gladly walk Ireland back into some form of surreal, ersatz confederation with the United Kingdom. They would undo 1922 (or 1918 or 1916) and have us as servants in our own house to masters of another house. Such is the anti-democratic sickness at the centre of their anachronistic aspirations.
And is it not strange that those most readily identifiable with the term Neo-Unionist, most ready to worship at the altar of British militarism and violence, are the self-same people who now champion the military might of Israel in the Irish media (while making strange bedfellows with the Israeli-supporting but still fascist British terror gangs in our country)? Who attack with the ferocity of rabid dogs those who would question Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip and the killing of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children, the vast and overwhelming majority of whom are innocent civilians?
Why is it that past British violence, or present Israeli violence, is justified, praiseworthy even, while past Irish violence in response to British violence is somehow abhorrent? Why is that those who fought in defence of the British Empire between the years 1914-1918 are worthy of commemoration while those who fought in defiance of the British Empire between the years 1916-1923 are worthy of condemnation?
As I said, Neo-Unionists.