In his review (March/April) of “Coolacrease” Joost Augusteijn tries to be fair. But, referring to the 1918 Election, he falls into a trap laid by British politicians and journalists noted in his diary by Edward MacLysaght on January 28 1919 exactly a week after the first meeting of Dail Eireann.
“In quoting statistics for last year’s General Election they give the total votes cast for and against Sinn Fein only in contested elections ,completely ignoring the 25 constituencies where Sinn Fein candidates were returned unopposed, thus presenting an entirely misleading picture.”
In 1918 and for some decades before it was common throughout the United Kingdom foe constituencies to be uncontested. In Ireland Unionists normally did not nominate candidates in constituencies where they hadn’t a hope of winning. In both 1886 and 1906 the Unionists polled more of the VOTES CAST than the NATIONALISTS but got MANY FEWER SEATS. In 1886 some 66 of the seats won by the Nationalists went to them without a single vote cast. In 1906 no less than 84 seats went to the Nationalists without a contest.
The contention that, because in 1918 only 47% of the VOTES CAST went to Sinn Fein, that that party was over-represented by the seats won (73 out of Ireland’s 105) is more than a trifle disingenuous.
Municipal, County and other elections in 1920 and the General Election of 1921 confirmed the popular mandate won by Sinn Fein in 1918.
Since I came to London in 1964 there have been twelve General Elections. In only one did the winning party get as much as 47% of the votes cast. Today’s UK government holds a large majority of the seats with but 35% of the votes cast
It appears that in 1919 some British knaves laid traps for fools which are today snaring distinguished academics such as Professor Richard English of Queen’s University, Belfast, and the retired Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, Dr.Garret Fitzgerald. Not to mention Dr Augustjeign!
Joost Augustjeign tells us that the custodians of international law take no cognisance of democratic mandates, even ones on such a scale as Sinn Fein’s in 1918,
Let’s examine the credentials of the custodians of international law.
Those of the United Kingdom derive from The Glorious Revolution which put the House of Orange on the Thrones of Great Britain and Ireland with much bloodshed in Ireland.
Those of the United States derive from the French landing at Yorktown, and a battle, which, if it had gone the other way would have seen the Rebel Washington dangling at the end of a British rope.
As for France, her credentials stem from an Allied attack which caused 3,000 French civilian fatalities on D-Day alone, not to mention almost a year’s more carnage.
Neither de Valera’s appeals to the United States nor even to the Irish Catholic Hierarchy could find recognition for the authority of the Irish people and their Parliament, Dail Eireann. Whatever grudging advantages since won needed more than the “X” Factor of votes cast, just as did the triumph of the Prince of Orange in his day.
DONAL KENNEDY 2009
So long as prominent commentators recycle the distortions of anti-democratic scoundrels I will counter them with irrefutable facts and ensure they are disseminated widely. I’ll try to do so in the spirit of Adlai Stevenson who promised to stop telling the truth about one of his opponents when that opponent stopped telling lies about him.
Whatever credibility the article had disappeared with the ridiculous reference to D-Day.
D-Day: French torn over ‘criminal’ British and American D-Day bombings of Caen
As survivors of the Allied bombings of Caen recall the devastating raids that reduced the city to rubble, French resentment persists over the operation to “flatten” towns and villages in the battle for Normandy in which 20,000 civilians died
“Jean Quellien, a leading French D-Day historian, said: “There is definitely a feeling among the local population that the suffering of French civilians was not sufficiently taken into account.”
“The total number of civilians killed on D Day was around 3,000 – roughly the same as the number of Allied soldiers killed on the beaches of Normandy. “The soldiers’ deaths are often talked about, rarely the civilians,” said Mr Quellien.”
My point was that France’s “credentials” to comment on something hardly rely on a rather odd reference to civilian casualties on D-Day.
With due respect your point was that the reference to the French D-Day civilian casualties destroyed the credibilty of the entire article ..??
“The contention that, because in 1918 only 47% of the VOTES CAST went to Sinn Fein, that that party was over-represented by the seats won (73 out of Ireland’s 105) is more than a trifle disingenuous”
More than a trifle disingenuous, but for barefaced mendacity John Brooke’s explanation to an English journalist who queried the substantial Unionist majority on Fermanagh County Council, (despite the fact that there was a large Catholic majority in the county), during the 1960s; that it was because a lot of Catholics were voting Unionist, takes some beating..!!!
Perhaps I was wrong in attributing France’s status as an arbiter on the legitimacy of other nations’ Governments solely to D-Day and the subsequent action of the Western Allies? Most of the credit for the defeat of the Third Reich is, of course, due to the Soviet Union. Ceist agam ort – Catholicus Nua – Whom did the French Catholic Hierarchy recognise as the legitimate Government of France in 1940, in 1941, 1942, 1943?. Were any French politicians or French Army, Navy or Air Force combatants, or Resistance Fighters excommunicated by Catholic Bishops?
I don’t know off hand the answer to your questions on France, but I think it is disingenuous to give such credit to the Soviet Union, given that it was the Soviet Union which facilitated the German invasion of Poland.
Britain and France facilitated the German invasion of Poland. Whilst Chamberlain took both his first and second return trips ever, in a plane to meet Hitler and do his bidding he sent envoys by slow boat to Russia when the Soviets were ready to guarantee with the French and British, Poland from NAZI aggression. William Shirer’s magisterial RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH makes that clear. In 1917 Arthur Balfour decided a British priority was the snuffing out of Communism and it was British policy in 1919 through the 1930s and in 1945 Churchill wanted to attack Russia. Between 1939 and 1945 neither the British nor the French did a damn thing to help Poland, though Poles fought in the British forces, You call yourself Catholicus but you have a very narrow and shallow outlook. If you can’t bother your head to learn anything don’t pose as an informed critic.