HUSH-HUSH, WHIPS, HORSES, THE DOGS OF WAR AND HARE-BRAINED SCHEMES by Donal Kennedy


The other day I read in a paper that British servicemen had been killed in Yemen. Though I knew Saudi Arabia had been blasting its unfortunate population with British-made weapons, launched from British-built aircraft, I hadn’t seen or heard that British service men and women were in combat there. Come to think of it, I don’t think many people knew about hush-hush campaigns by the British in that part of the world in the 1960s. They had  never been debated in Parliament.

Once upon a time, if I believe correctly, the House of Commons, which is supposed to control the Exchequer, used pass an annual Army Act (or some such law.)  Otherwise the sinews and the dogs of war hadn’t a leg to stand on.

I’ll say this for Tony Blair’s War on Iraq – he got a majority in the ,House of Commons to swallow a cock- and-bull story about an immediate threat from Saddam Hussein, and so persuaded them  to support a Holocaust which consumed up to a million civilian lives. (Jeremy Corbyn’s greatest sin, apparently, was  to defy the Whips, try to hold their horses, and to  restrain the dogs of war. (Are these mixed metaphors, or Dogs’ Brexits?).

I’m told that neither the British Parliament, nor even the Cabinet, were informed of the decision to manufacture the atomic bomb. That decision was made by Clement Attlee and a small Cabinet clique. I don’t know whether any Conservatives were in on the secret. The first nuclear reactors in Britain were, supposedly, primarily for the generation of electricity. But that was a big fat lie,

Though from 1904 on the Conservatives and Liberal Unionists were preparing to launch an Anglo-Franco-Russian onslaught on Germany, most Liberals in the Commons appeared unaware of it. Considering the novels, learned,  and not- so- learned, articles and lectures, bloody-enormous Dreadnoughts, and other evidence of the war-mongers’ intentions, this should amaze you.

John Redmond’s treachery was crucial in persuading Liberal MPs, unhappy with Asquith’s policy, to endorse the criminal war of aggression, whose reverberations threaten to engulf us all.

Currently, Dail Eireann is the only body which can, under the Constitution, commit Ireland to war. That same Constitution commits Ireland to seek negotiation of international disputes. It was in line with it that Ireland condemned Argentina’s seizure of the Malvinas, and refused to applaud Thatcher’s sinking of the General  Belgrano.  Ireland, under Fianna Fail leadership, played honourable, courageous and constructive parts in the League of Nations and the United Nations. And Irish troops, wearing the blue berets of the UN, have, for the past sixty-one years, reflected well on our country.

But Ireland today is not the self-respecting country it was in the age of de Valera. Too many of her representatives appear to be men of no principles, or women of no principles. When, about 1840, “The Nation” was launched, a Dublin Castle official asked “but what is its tone? ”  “Wolfe Tone” was the reply. It’s not the tone of Leinster House, most of the media, nor of academia in Ireland today.

The Government in Dublin slavishly ganged up against Russia when, with no evidence, Britain claimed that the Russian Government was responsible for the Salisbury poisoning.The Government refused to stand by a Dail resolution framed within international law on the rights of peoples under Occupation. And,for years Ireland has been Uncle Sam’s AIRSTRIP TWO for his crimes of aggression.

Leo Varadkar  is committed to trebling Ireland’s Defence budget. So far as I can see, Ireland has the enemy identified by Brian O’Higgins in 1914 in his doggerel “WHO IS IRELAND’S ENEMY?” 

Surely Varadkar is not going back on the Good Friday Agreement? And if he was, would he be fool enough to rattle his rockets before he’s got them?

So what hare-brained, hush-hush scheme has he hatched?

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