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arts and media |
Monday June 05, 2006 00:08 by Harry Wells
Not Ok for Brits to denounce film, Ok for Sindo pro-Brits to do so
The Sunday Independent today exposes The Sun and Daily Mail’s cynical hypocrisy in giving their two audiences in Ireland and Britain totally opposite messages with regard to Ken Loach’s prize-winning film ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’. The film depicts the brutal nature of Britain’s war against Irish Independence between 1919-21 and the subsequent Civil War conflict.
In Britain The Sun boldly states Loach's film to be “the most pro IRA ever” and the Daily Mail asks “Why does” the “Marxist” film’s director Ken Loach “loath his country so much”. In the ‘Irish’ editions of these British tabloids, on the other hand, the film is an “Irish success” story.
The Sunday Independent wants to associate with the national "success" and to denounce its rivals' imperial "sneer" at the same time.
However, the Sunday Independent simultaneously exposes its own schizophrenia while doing so. It manages to deliver exactly the same conflicting messages in the one newspaper, the story of Irish success and also a “sneer” at this success.
How so? Read on.
'Fearless' Sindo fears to mention who wrote Daily Mail "sneer"
Harris has a go
In the very same Sunday Independent, Eoghan Harris, who attacked Neil Jordan’s ‘Michael Collins’ movie as pro IRA and pro Sinn Fein some years ago in Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday Times, launches a stinging attack on Loach’s film. In language that would be in place in the British Editions of The Sun and Daily Mail, he accuses Loach of using language “strikingly similar to … the politics of Sinn Fein” and of a “diatribe on Daily Ireland [that] can easily be used as propaganda by the provos”.
Like the British ’critics’ Harris has not seen the film yet, but he can’t wait to get his attack in first. He does not mention that Loach was asked to comment by Daily Ireland on the British press attack on his film. Loach did so honestly and forthrightly, as is his custom. Harris attempts also his usual McCarthyite tactics, He tries to force a wedge between the actors and the director of the film. He assumes the actors will do his bidding because they are “decent”. In fact this is an insidious form of intimidation.
Sir Anthony’s minion
The ex-republican and now ‘Sir’ Anthony O’Reilly sycophant (Harris wrote recently that he was paid out of O’Reilly’s profits) accuses Loach of being “neo-colonial” because Loach links the British occupation of Ireland with the US and British occupation in Iraq. In ‘Harris world’, everything is topsy-turvey and upside down – don’t expect his words to mean anything intelligible. An opposite meaning is generally the more accurate stab at reality.
One thing is for sure, Harris does everything he can to undermine the anti-imperialist tradition in Ireland. He attacked the 1916 Rising commemoration and the IRA’s conduct of the War of independence. He also supports the illegal US and British invasion and occupation of Iraq. He is a long-standing, since his days as a member of the neo-unionist ‘officials’ and supporter of censorship, opponent of Sinn Fein. He is a firm supporter, like another Sunday Independent regular, Ruth Dudley Edwards, of the Ulster Unionist Party and of the Orange Order. This gives rise to another problem for the Sunday Independent in the proclamation of its ‘Irishness’ against British newspaper rivals.
The Sunday Independent is exposed in another way. While the two editions of The Sun are contrasted visually and the author is mentioned, that is not the case with the Daily Mail piece. The reason is not hard to find. The author was none other than well-known Sunday Independent provo bashing regular, Ruth Dudley Edwards. Ruth’s name as Daily Mailauthor is absent from the piece the Sunday Independent quotes from and derides.
Indymedia is happy to rectify the lapse.
There is another thread with a discussion of RDE’s efforts here:
’Don’t read my Pearse book’
All in all it has been funny old week for Ruth Dudley Edwards. The Irish Political Review covered her denunciation at Queens of the exposure of her performance at an Irish Embassy do, at which she encouraged people not to read her biography on Pearse and at which she had condemned the 1916 Rising. Read about it here:
Now she is criticised by the Irish Sunday newspaper she regularly writes for, for writing the same kind of anti-republican message in an English newspaper. Though they wisely kept her name out of it.
It is at times like this that all the reactionaries come together, but they also like to disguise the fact that they all think the same thing, and more often than not write the same thing for and about each other. Such uniformity of view would not go down well with the reading public. Hence the hypocritical censorship within the exposure of the hypocrisy.
But why does the Sunday Independent want to attack the Daily Mail in particular? The Sunday Independent is in competition with the Daily Mail and the Mail owned Ireland on Sunday. The Sunday Independent likes to proclaim its ‘Irishness” and simultaneously its rival’s Britishness. This is good for reader identification and it is hoped will maintain Sunday Independent circulation, and prevent defection to an identified ‘British’ product with an ‘Irish’ edition.
But the Sunday Independent has the same pro-British, in fact reactionary Irish, politics as its British rivals. This news seldom becomes part of joined up thinking. When it does, life, usually so simple with reactionary denunciations, made up stuff and sensationalist sexist rubbish, becomes complex.
Normally it is not a problem because normally no one notices. Today it is because we do.
Why it is none other than Sindo regular Ruth Dudley Edwards
Which one exactly is your country, Ruth?