no events posted in last week
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
New Books Worth Reading Mon Sep 19, 2016 23:25 | Seán Sheehan
13 Billion ? Lucky for some? Mon Sep 05, 2016 13:04 | Tony Phillips
Rebuilding Ireland: Long on Promise, Short on Detail Mon Aug 29, 2016 22:20 | Eoin O'Mahony
Brexit and Other Issues: Comments on the Current Situation Mon Aug 29, 2016 21:52 | Brendan Young
Bin Charges: From Private Circus to Public Service Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:38 | Michael Taft
Irish Left Review >>
Electoralism vs Abstentionism (Or: Why You Should Run For Office) Fri Aug 26, 2016 17:07 | Slyvia Smith
Centrism extremism: how horseshoe-politics silences brutality Sat Jul 02, 2016 18:25 | yeksmesh
Of Tankies, Trots and Social Democrats Thu May 12, 2016 23:41 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Avatars of the Advanced-Capitalist Psyche â€“ Capitain America: Civil War Mon May 09, 2016 00:07 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
Wailings about Left Unity Sat Feb 13, 2016 01:13 | James O'Brien
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005
Formal complaint against RTE for bias
Water protester convicted on trumped up charge Anthony
The people now know what you are Mr. Ross Anthony
Independents must decide: The people or the corrupt political system Anthony
Independent Alliance TDs must decide: The people or the corrupt regime Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
The US, Russia and SYRIA SitRep by Cat Motya, September 27, 2016 Tue Sep 27, 2016 05:19 | Scott
So… A few boring pieces about the future, because a few important moments came to realization. Considering these important moments, we will post some forecasts foretelling the future, but only
Trump ? Clinton debate: réaction à chaud (Saker rant) Tue Sep 27, 2016 04:19 | The Saker
Since I might be asked about that, I might as well share my opinion about the debate tonight. Frankly? I was absolutely horrified. I had expected Trump to completely slaughter
Syrian War Report ? September 26, 2016: Russia Deploys More Warplanes in Syria Tue Sep 27, 2016 00:39 | The Saker
Moveable Feast Cafe 2016/09/26 ? Open Thread Mon Sep 26, 2016 21:00 | Herb Swanson
2016/09/26 20:00:01Welcome to the ‘Moveable Feast Cafe’. The ‘Moveable Feast’ is an open thread where readers can post wide ranging observations, articles, rants, off topic and have animate discussions of
Superficiality as a Path to God: on conflating contemporary violent groups with historical Sunnism Mon Sep 26, 2016 14:05 | The Saker
Note by the Saker: I was recently contacted by a reader of this blog who, while praising the overall contents of the blog, also expressed regret at what he perceived
The Saker >>
Reply to Anthony Coughlan on CPI book
history and heritage |
Wednesday February 20, 2013 10:07 by Matt Treacy
Regarding Anthony Coughlan’s latest attempt to denigrate my books.
The books stand on their merits and I have no need to repeat what is in them. They stand or fall on their own merits. However a number of points in Coughlan’s ‘review’ do need to be addressed.
First of all, the production issues relate to a small number of books sold at the time of the launch. All of these have been corrected and the index is now fully accurate.
He claims the book is ‘thoroughly nasty’. I take it that is a reference to it’s critical analysis of the pro-Soviet Communist movement. I make no more apology for being anti-Stalinist than I do for being anti-Nazi. It is also clear that one of the features of the CP book most upsetting to the inheritors of Irish Stalinism is its exposé of the dishonesty and intellectual gymnastics that were employed to justify the Stalin/Hitler Pact between 1939 and 1941.
A Pact broken, not by the Stalinists but by the Nazis. The same applied to their dogged defence of Soviet foreign policy over the entire period up to the collapse of the USSR.
Contrary to Coughlan’s claim, the book is almost entirely based on original records, including those of the CP itself, and certainly does not rely on ‘Government Ministers’ ‘MI5’, the ‘Catholic Standard’ or fascists for its analysis of Communism during the period under review. The historical is quite clear in regard to the horrors visited on the world by Stalinism and its off-shoots.
It is also clear that Communist Party policy during the period under review was first and foremost a function of Soviet foreign policy. Ample eveidence, some of it quoted in the book, exists to prove Soviet interest in opposing British membership of the EEC, including substantial funding for the CPGB campaign.
That is not to deny that there were genuine reasons for opposing the EEC and Irish republicans were the first to do so. That was a significant factor in persuading the Irish Communists to alter their attitude towards the republican movement after Lemass had applied for membership. That was during the 1956-1962 IRA ‘border campaign’ which the Communists had resolutely opposed and had been disparaging of the republicans until the EEC application once again made them an attractive ‘ally’. All of that is dealt with in both books.
In relation to Greaves, the record clearly shows that he was a member of the CPGB International Department and it was in that capacity that he ran the Connolly Association, and attempted, with a degree of success to influence political events in Ireland through those who shared his position, and indeed his membership of the Communist Party, either in Britain and/or in Ireland.
The evidence for CPGB control of the CA is extensive and conclusive and is dealt with in the book. Indeed, one of the key debates within the CA during the 1950s – extensively dealt with in the book from CPGB sources – was whether the Association ought to have ‘come out’ as the London Irish branch of the CPGB, or remained, as favoured by Greaves and the CPGB International Department, a covertly controlled Party front organisation.
There was also clearly an intention to create a formal alliance between the republican movement and the Irish Communist movement through a National Liberation Front. That was a contributory factor in the split, and the attempt to maintain that alliance continued after the split with formal and high level contacts between the Official republican leadership and the re-unified CPI. That foundered in the mid 1970s due to a combination of factors that will be dealt with in the second volume.
It is also the case that both Coughlan and Roy Johnston were paid up members of the Irish Workers Party at the same time that Johnston was a member of the IRA Army Council and Coughlan was a leading advisor to Cathal Goulding. Indeed Coughlan might well have become more formally involved, had it not been for a January 1966 Ard Comhairle motion proposed by Tom Mitchell which excluded Coughlan from the Sinn Féin/IRA education department on the grounds that the republican constitution banned members of Communist organisations. That again is a matter of record.
The membership lists in the CPI archives are conclusive. They are clearly IWP membership lists and not as disingenuously claimed, subscription lists for the Party bulletin. I believe that this issue has been put to bed. One of those lists is available on several internet forums and of course the other lists are in the CP archive itself.
I do not need a motive to record historical facts! Indeed the implication of the attacks on me is that I ought to have pretended that the lists did not exist at all. The overlapping membership of key individuals is, however, important and opens up different interpretations of what happened within the republican movement in the 1960s. The evidence is there. People may interpret it as they wish. Some, however, prefer to engage in disingenuous ad hominen attacks on myself rather than engage with the facts.
Finally, I again note Coughlan’s promise to deposit the Greaves journals in a public archive. He has had them for a long time now and, unedited, they would be a valuable contribution to the historical record. Until now, we only have Roy Johnston’s extensive use of extracts to thank for what is clearly a unique insight into the period under review.
Prior discussion at: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/102794