A later British Prime Minister, Tony Blair,  sought to justify attacking Iraq under false pretences in 2001 by invoking Bitain’s  “Oldest Alliance” – that with the United States of America in  Sir Anthony  Blair’s book.

The US/UK alliance is at most three weeks older than I am, dating from December 1941.

Britain’s oldest Alliance, still in force, dates from 1386 and is with Portugal. That was 55 years before the birth of Christopher Columbus and 106 years before he crossed the Atlantic.

(The USA had no alliance with Britain, France and Russia in 1917-1919 but was an “Associated Power” which became isolationist)

In my Blog “BBC AT 100” (January 3) on the I revealed that the man who put his stamp on that Corporation, Lord Reith, was a fervent admirer of Mussolini and Hitler.

Mussolini himself wrote of Houston Chamberlain, the Englishman who helped inspire Hitler. At the time he was writing. Mussolini had not adopted Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Indeed he said that when Rome was an old civilisation the Germans were primitive savages. 

Mussolini and Franco were the foster children of British Intelligence.

From 1917 Britain generously funded Mussolini’s newspaper and in 1923 King George V dubbed Mussolini a Knight of the Bath, Mussolini paid some of his debt to Britain by paying fees for the passage of troops and materiel through the Suez Cana on the way to attack Abyssinia.l. While Britain and France reneged on their responsibilities under the League of Nations Charter, Ireland’s Eamon de Valera, demanded in Geneva that all League members honour their obligations. He was responding to Emperor Haile Selassie appeal, before the League that it do just that.

Dev was prepared to contribute Irish Defence Forces  in proportionate numbers  to a common League defence of its attacked member. This was in accordance with Ireland’s record of making common cause with Indians and Egyptians against British Imperialism,  a record long remembered with

gratitude in those countries. Dev got a wonderful welcome on visiting independent India in 1948, and a few years later, when India became a Republic,Prime Minister Nehru and colleagues visited Ireland to give special thanks to Dev, who was out of office at the time.

India, as a Republic, remained in the Commonwealth, an idea advanced by de Valera for Ireland at the time of the Anglo/Irish negotiations of

1921,  but rejected by the British, who demanded British Domination of Ireland, a demand it has never retracted.

It is perhaps forgotten that Fine  Gael, re-converted to Republican rhetoric in 1948,  in 1935 demanded that Ireland support “Catholic Italy” in its Abyssinian frolics.

Franco was airlifted from the Canaries, where he had been posted to keep him out of mischief, to Morocco, from which he launched his mutiny by Hugh Pollard of British Intelligence, Pollard in 1940 wrote to THE TIMES defending the Luftwaffe’s bombing of Guernica. Pollard had form in Ireland where he arranged with British Pathe to produce a newsreel purporting to show an ambush in Kerry in 1920. Dublin cinema audiences immediately recognised the the Vico Road on Killiney Bay in South Dublin part of the Irish Sea, whereas the purported  ambush was over 200  miles away on Ireland Western, (Atlantic) Coast. 

Stills form the fake newsreel are recycled to this day by imposters, including THE IRISH TIMES. Pollard,like many of Ireland’s most bitter enemies, was a rather too devout Catholic.

The Promotion of Ignorance is a big, big business. It employs both lazy,ignorant fools and brilliant, calculating and bent intellectuals. It prizes most,

formerly honest and learned commentators. Ex-Republicans,  ex-Communists, ex-Socialists and ex- Catholics who have developed a contempt for their fore-bears and for their former friends, seem to be most valued.

Most of us as we grow older revise or modify earlier opinions, and throw out old bath-water without doing the same with babies, siblings or parents.

Though I have not (yet) met the Devil, I retain a belief in his, or her, existence. 

For how else could I explain the phenomenon of the deliberate promotion of ignorance?


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