“The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives.”
– Malcom X
When Irish neo-liberal John Hume, the architect of the so called “Good” Friday Agreement, died on August 2, 2020 from dementia at the age of 83, the usual mass media were like Germans hailing France’s Phillipe Pétain saying Hume was a colossus for Irish peace, i.e., indefinite British imperial occupation and rule in Ireland.
Even the bigoted Delusional Unionist Party (DUP) of God & Ian Paisley paid homage. Since John Hume, a Maynooth Seminary graduate, took biblical scripture seriously and so always rendered unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. He was a croppy who laid down.
For his servility to empire the Nazi Pope Benedict made him a Knight Commander in 2012. The Norwegians, ever pranksters, gave him and David Trimble Nobel Peace Prizes. Vietnamese diplomat Lê Đức Thọ, a real national anti-colonial revolutionary, turned his down.
But John Hume, like David Trimble and Nobel Peace Prize winners Barack Obama and Henry Kissinger, was no radical or revolutionary. Like them he was a darling of global elitists from Harvard to Oxford to the Council on Foreign Relations. Because he just wanted a more tolerable British occupation and rule in Ireland and worked hard most of his life to get it.
Consequently, he always took an oath to the British Queen and to all her inbred decadent family. As did his Social Democratic and Labour Party a.k.a. the SDLP or Stoop Down Low Party. Vichy by any other name any place else, and so truth told just neo-colonial like Provincial Sinn Fein is.
Indeed, as a butcher of Iraq Tony Blair knows things can always get worse – much worse. So, now the Irish in the occupied six can decide which of their roads get paved and what parking fees will be. They don’t even have to call London anymore for any of that if they don’t want to. Like kids who can play in their own yard but not ever leave it without Mother’s permission.
All the mass media gushing for John Hume then was predictable coming from the usual suspects and their bedfellows as it always does right on cue. But get a load of this one for Seánín (Irish for little John or Johnny). The Dalai Lama said:
Imagine in 2022 Beijing says to Tibet like Blair said to Ireland in 1998:
“You can vote for direct rule or indirect rule from Beijing – but your independence is off the table until a majority of the Han Chinese living in Tibet say otherwise – which will be when we say so.”
What then say the Dali Lama? Harvard? CFR? Tony Blair? Bill Clinton?
Double standards are the stuff of imperial rule and empire everywhere.
Always have been, always will be. If you’re an Irishman on the make you know that but are okay with it. That is unless cognitive dissonance causes cognitive dementia. Because recall John Hume and his SDLP colleague Seamus Mallon were absent on March 18, 2003 from voting yay or nay on Bush and Blair’s war in Iraq.
Even though most MPs from Northern Ireland made it to London then, except Provincial Sinn Fein who – for looks alone – never took their seats in Parliament. Which means both John Hume and Seamus Mallon were just making excuses about getting short notice, but why?
Well, to avoid having legislative accountability!
Otherwise, if they voted for the war in Iraq then they’d have torched forever their very selective peacenik credentials and SDLP constituency. And if they dared voted against the war in Iraq then they’d be shunned forever from Anglo-American power elite circles.
So, best not to go to London at all then. They went instead, along with David Trimble, David Ervine and Gerry Adams, to Washington, D.C. to hobnob with George W. Bush on March 16, 2003. You can see them all there then at the 01:45 mark of this C-SPAN video: Gushing shamrocks for Bush
Bush commenced his war in Iraq four (4) days later on March 20, 2003 along with Blair just as they had always been saying they would.
All done in the spirit of their Nobel Pacifier Prizes.
At any rate, I met John Hume once in person. An acquaintance invited me to an open Opus Dei function at a Catholic college in the US in the late 1970’s. He thought I should hear a different Irish political perspective.
John Hume was their invited speaker, from (they said) “Londonderry”, in Northern Ireland. He did not correct them no doubt because they were just doing God’s work rendering unto the UK the things that are the UK’s.
There were only about 10 or 12 people and myself in the classroom, and I had never seen or heard of John Hume before that day. He was dressed in a conservative dark colored tie, white shirt and black banker’s business suit with thin white stripes. No black beret, red neck scarf or army jump boots for him. His talk was largely that it’s better to live on your knees than die on your feet. Because he says his dad said you can’t eat a flag, blah, blah, blah, at least not an Irish flag.
All of which he could have sung to the tune of “A Province once again!”
Yet I was hesitant then to be too critical of him. Because I didn’t live in Derry and so wasn’t subject to the same things he was. Nor was I any kind of seminary graduate inclined to follow scripture as my political guide.
It’s just that Hồ Chí Minh made more national liberation sense to me than John Hume ever did. Not surprisingly, Uncle Hồ was not the darling of Harvard, the CFR or the Norwegians. And when he died in 1969, he was not referred to in the usual mass media as a colossus for Vietnam even though he was the founding father of today’s united Vietnam.
Someone (not me) asked John Hume about the political relevance of the IRA and INLA. Hume said they were irrelevant and not so much interested in Irish national liberation as they were in establishing their Marxist-Leninist workers’ paradise. Which was red meat for these reactionaries.
He then adamantly discouraged Irish-Americans from donating to NORAID, which of course I started to do and can thank him for telling me (pre-inter-net) what NORAID was. To be fair though, if he didn’t preach these anti-leftist and anti-Irish national liberation themes, he’d never have been invited to speak to this pro-Franco anti-abortion US crowd.
I asked him why all he wanted was a more tolerable British rule in Ireland?
Hume replied: “It works for Wales and Scotland, so why not Ireland?
After that he talked about civil rights and his practical work in the credit union movement, saying it did more for people in Northern Ireland than the IRA or INLA ever did or could.
He was clearly more George Washington Carver in Ireland than W.E.B. DuBois or Malcom X. Since he was no radical and just wanted the constipated British royal birthright class system to work for everyone equally – as he absurdly thought it was supposed to.
Which nevertheless is what his Opus Dei audience that day wanted to hear given the applause he got. Along with his lame claim that the British had no strategic interest in Northern Ireland and want out because he said:
“The British said so!” So, what’s not to believe?
But if that’s so… then… why…. don’t … they … ever …. leave?
Since all it takes is a declaration to leave and a ferry ride.
And besides, how are the Irish holding them back exactly?
Because if British occupation and rule doesn’t really matter to the Brits, then why is there still British occupation and rule in Ireland? Don’t their actions speak louder than their words and their inactions even louder?
Dr. Franz Fanon said it best:
“Historical examples have demonstrated that the masquerade of concessions and the heavy price paid by certain countries have ended in a servitude that is not only more discreet, but also more complete. The people and every militant should be conscious of the historical law which stipulates that certain concessions are in fact shackles. If there is no attempt at clarifying this it is surprising how easy it is for the leaders of certain political parties to engage in endless compromise with the former colonizer.”
–The Wretched of the Earth, by F. Fanon, Grove Press NY 1963, pgs. 91-92.
Just as Provincial Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness did with the Northern Ireland PSNI’s chief constable between 2014 and 2019: McGuinness acted ‘with integrity’ says former PSNI chief constable.
Tell that to families of Patsy Gillespie, Frank Hegarty & Michael Donnelly.
As such, the emperor has no clothes. This expression is used to describe a situation in which people are afraid to criticize someone like John Hume or something like the “Good” Friday Agreement because the perceived wisdom is that the person or thing is right and remarkable.
However, colonial and neocolonial leaders mislead more than they lead.
None of which is to say John Hume was Tony Blair or Sawney Bean. He wasn’t – no more than George Washington Carver was. In fact, both did some good things: Hume with credit unions and Carver with peanuts.
John Hume just wasn’t a colossus for Irish freedom any more than George Washington Carver was for Afro-American freedom. They were simply reliable accommodationists for the political status quo and at best agents for incremental change. House negros, not field negros, who never missed their masters’ house parties.
And all the king’s horses and all the king’s men like Tony Blair dishonestly saying otherwise about John Hume won’t change that Irish slave mentality or get the British out of Ireland – even post-Brexit – any more than it will get them out of Gibraltar or the Cayman Islands.
Because now the occupied six counties are the UK’s negotiating hostage and its indefinitely left open window to the EU. So, fact that a United Ireland in the EU might work best for all of Ireland is merely aspirational since when it comes to Ireland: what Britannia wants Britannia gets!
Which is what most Irish agreed to in 1998 – with among others John Hume’s encouragement. As such there will likely be a united Korea before there will ever be a united Ireland.
The usual unionists north and south will even cheer on Korea’s unification without blinking just like they did Germany’s all while inveighing against Russia ever getting a “Good” Friday Agreement for the Donbass.
No surprise then that we don’t know ourselves.