Local anarchist group Organise! on the Royal Visit to Ireland - May 2011.
The recent spate of royal weddings, queenly visits and bombing commemorations have got dissident republicans wetting their pants in excitement as they queue squealing for the photocopiers in their tens, clutching hysterically-scrawled pamphlets proclaiming oft-regurgitated crap about occupations, massacres and (an oldie but a classic), the police. PSNI, to be precise.
Fair enough, given anything beyond the confines of the ‘Big Bad Brits’ analysis is completely beyond their grasp. Unfortunately though, the same seems to be reverberating through the rest of ‘the left’, with individuals who really should know better picking up the ticking baton and running with it for what seems like endless miles.
Social networking sites, chatrooms and political forums are awash with lefties of every flavour moaning about ‘British imperialism’ and wringing their hands about commemorations of events HRH probably knew nothing about until the paper boy landed the news on her hall carpet all those years ago. None of them have taken a moment to ponder the concrete implications of this visit on the Irish workers, a task which was left up to a group of ‘loyalist’ Co. Antrim women, who told us they would rather have the money spent on hospital beds than a visit from “that aul’ bitch”. To the revolutionaries, however, sixteen tatie bread in Croke by teh Brits is far more worth a mention than the hundreds of potential deaths through a thousand cuts implemented by native hands.
This staggeringly blinkered view has allowed the Irish government to gleefully shower the royal visit in notes and coins to the tune of €36 million while continuing to promise to decimate more jobs, services and living conditions of the proletariat. By failing to point this out, our firework-throwing friends in Dublin (all 200 of them that managed to get to first day of the official protests) have not only helped to detract attention away from it, but also to discredit their entire movement in the eyes of anyone with a bit of wit who’s managed to work out what’s going on.
With Easter 2016 looming ever-closer, you’d think that the various chucks would be clambering over themselves to get the million or so Nordies who choose to demurre against a 32-county state on side. Although according to the chucks, the non-republican majority of the currently occupied six counties will have the scales magically cascade from their eyes once that elusive fourth green field is out of British bondage, and acknowledge that the united Ireland they have been resisting is a tip-top smashing idea. They don’t seem able to grasp that until the all-Ireland ‘utopia’ is realised, it might be a good idea to point out some of the harsh realities which affect all of the working class and work on combating them, instead of wandering lost in the foggy dew shouting something about ‘800 years’ and weeping into a tricolour. This oversight is not all negative - creating any more of these eejits would make the place even more intolerable.
On the other hand, the Bearded Baron himself Gerry Adams thinks that the whole visit thing’s a great idea, saying that it symbolised the formation of a ‘new relationship’ between Britain and Ireland. A confusing position given that he was dead set against the idea when it was first proposed, blasting the plans as ‘premature’ and ‘insensitive’. Maybe he was inspired by his comrade Margaret Ritchie talking about it in the lunch queue – the SDLP leader warmly welcomed Lizzie from the start, citing said ‘new relationship’ in her public statement. But Adams-loyal Republicans need not worry: Gerry followed up his crawling with a general statement against all monarchies, saying that he wasn’t keen on them ‘in principle’. So he’s still the committed fighter he always was.
Obviously, we stand against the British queen. We stand against her as we stand against all monarchies, which are oppressive, undemocratic regimes based on privilege, hierarchy and ruling-class domination over workers. This is also true of other regimes. At a time where the working-class is struggling to survive on reduced wages and benefits, labouring under conditions constantly under the threat of attack, leaving school and being unable to afford a tertiary education and dying in under-funded hospitals, let’s look at the bigger picture. Put the green white and gold-tinted glasses down for two seconds and stare at the cold, hard reality of the situation. €36 million has just been spent on a visit from an undemocratically-chosen head of state that is no better or worse than any other. That’s €36 million which could have been spent saving a maternity ward. Or opening a school. Or building new social housing. Or maybe we could have literally pissed it up a wall and built another memorial for the British monarch to lay a wreath at next time the Taoiseach invites him or her over for buns and a bit of a gawk at the revolting peasants…..