Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Greatness Thrust

I am rather looking forward to this afternoon’s Great Lives with George Galloway about John Cornford. Presumably the question will not be asked about how he squares his Catholicism with his support for the Spanish Republic. Long-term readers will be aware that I see neither side in the Spanish Civil War as deserving of much, if any, sympathy.

But think back to last week and ask yourself what would have happened, at any point before the rise of New Labour, if a Cabinet Minister (regardless of party) – the Foreign Secretary, no less – had taken to the airwaves to praise a totally unyielding and unrepentant Stalinist whose paramilitary organisation, rather than his practically identical political one, had tortured its own members, among other things? Had, for that matter, greatly prolonged the regime against which it was fighting by (shades of Spain here) proposing to turn the country in question into a Soviet satellite? And had scorned the non-violent, non-Marxist, pro-Commonwealth opposition to that regime?

Truly, we are now ruled by the Communist Party of Peter Mandelson, John Reid and Ralph Miliband. By the Trotskyism of Stephen Byers and Alan “Haze of Dope” Milburn. By the International Marxist Group of Alistair Darling, Bob Ainsworth and Tony Blair’s mentor, Geoff Gallop. By Tony McNulty’s IRA fundraising. By Harriet Harman’s and Patricia Hewitt’s Paedophile Information Exchange and Paedophile Action for Liberation. By those who at the funerals of Donald Dewar and Robin Cook sang, not The Red Flag, but The Internationale. Their means have shifted from the economic to the social, cultural and constitutional. But their ends remain exactly the same: the destruction of the family, private property, and the State, none of which can exist without the other two.

And what have we by way of an alternative? The 1980s New Right, funded from Pretoria and Santiago, yet acting as if it had already achieved its decidedly non-Botha and non-Pinochet objectives of legalising and normalising hard drug use and the most extreme sexual promiscuity (with no minimum age of consent, of course). Plus smashing the public services, the unions, local government and so on. Their chemical and sexual proclivities may not have been terribly Pinochet-esque, but they were, and are, the inexorable logic of the Chicago Boys’ ideology. The “free” market, the most anti-conservative force in the world.


  1. Oh I agree entirely about the Spanish Civil War. Several years ago the Catholic Chaplaincy at QUB had a subscription with some magazine which was pro-Franco. All the usual propaganda stuff. Needless to say the Chaplain at QUB at that stage was a nutter.
    Thankfully now thereis no such magazine.
    I think English Catholics have a lot of difficulty in accepting that people can be both ardently Catholic and ardently pro Republican Spain.
    In Ireland we have no such dilemna and indeed I was priveleged to know three veterans from the International Brigade. All sadly dead.
    In fairness and for balance I must point out that one came home sadly disillusioned by the horrors of it all...as much by the horror perpetrated by "his" side as the other side. A very human reaction.

    Of course we have no problem in Ireland in being supportive of all kinds of causes that "English" Catholics find repulsive.
    Indeed the Commanding Officer of the South Derry Brigade Irish Republican Army in the mid 1970s was a Catholic priest.....er...........allegedly.

    Likewise of course Captain Robert Nairac (Britis undercover agent) was one of Ampleforths finest.
    Which proves what exactly?
    Well nothing at all.
    Except of course a persons religion, nationality and political opinions are quite different.

  2. Most catholic in Britain in the Thirties were of very recent Irish origin or extraction, but they were overwhelmingly pro-Franco.

    It was a war between those who entirely predictably went on to back the Axis while officially neutral, and those who wanted to turn Spain into a satellite of, initially, a de facto member of the Axis, as Spain would also have been if the Republicans had won.

    Indeed, she would have been so even more than she was under Franco, since the Soviet Army actually fought alongside that of Nazi Germany, notably staging a joint victory parade through the streets of Brest-Litovsk. If Hitler had also had such a relationship with a Soviet-dominated Spain, then he would probably never have reneged on the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and therefore might very well have won the War.

    The Spanish Civil War has always split Old Labour into its constituent subcultures. It did at the time. The Hard Left is as ardently pro-Republican as ever, because of its myopia (even now) about Stalinism, because of its anti-Catholicism, and because of the overrating of George Orwell. Meanwhile, Catholics, at least if pushed or if they know anything at all about it (as almost no younger Spaniards do, either) and apparently apart from George Galloway, will still back the Falangists (whose ostensible Catholicism was a perversion defined by its reaction against other things, although there have been worse such before, at the same time, and since), at least on balance. No one else will have much, if any, view on the matter.

    But we need to get real. Even if Franco was no Hitler, neither side deserves our historical sympathy. Franco, as much as anything else, maintained, and occasionally tried to press, a territorial claim to (staunchly British, staunchly Catholic) Gibraltar.

    And since Soviet archives were opened up, all sorts of information has come to light. The entire Republican cause was Comintern-directed, and the Soviet intervention was in no sense parasitic as has traditionally been supposed or asserted. For example, far from being commanded by a Canadian volunteer, the International Brigade was in fact commanded by Manfred Stern, a Soviet Commissar.

    But then, there never was an anti-Soviet Left in Spain in the Thirties; that myth has been astonishingly long-lasting considering its compete and utter baselessness. Take, for example, Francisco Largo Caballero, Socialist Party Leader and Popular Front Prime Minister. Entirely typically of his party, he defined it as a revolutionary force wholly distinct from British Labour or the French Socialists, and differing "only in words" from the Communists.

    The Socialist Party's 10-point programme of 1934 was wholly Leninist in form and substance, calling, among other things, for the replacement of the Army and the Civil Guard with a workers' militia, and for the dissolution of the religious orders and the expropriation of their property.

    And so one could go on, and on, and on.

    Stalin only loosened his grip once the Civil War was clearly lost, long after the Republicans themselves had given up what little commitment to democracy that they might ever have had. So the best that can be said about the Spanish Civil War is that the not-quite-so-bad bad guys won.

    Had the even-worse bad guys (the Republicans) won, then Spain would actually have fought with the Axis just as the Soviet Union did, the Nazi-Soviet Pact would probably never have collapsed, and Hitler might therefore very well have won the War.

  3. "Franco, as much as anything else, maintained, and occasionally tried to press, a territorial claim to (staunchly British, staunchly Catholic) Gibraltar."

    Yeah, that precisely was the extreme of General Franco's villainy, and the thing we all remember him for. Maintaining, and occasionally trying to press, a territorial claim to the rock of Gibraltar.

  4. It was the specifically anti-British thing about him, yes.

    He himself, it must be said, was never a member of the Falange, and never even attended the whole of any of its conferences. Fully signed up Fascists such as the Fuerza Nueva had very little time for him.

  5. Something you should read ...

    Harriet Harman's Lies about Rape Exposed Today


    Amongst other things, it shows how 700 rapes are turned into 70,000 by people like Harriet Harman in order to pursue their own ambitions.



  6. So you're saying that Harriet Harman supports paedophilia. If you were anything other than a figure of fun, you'd need a top libel lawyer.

  7. You don't read this blog very often, do you? Or The Daily Telegraph, for that matter?

    As it reported quite recently, and as some of us have known and been saying for years, when Hatty and Patty ran the old National Council for Civil Liberties, it was utterly hand-in-glove with the old Campaign for Homosexual Equality, which was in fact the Paedophile Information Exchange - same address, same committee, the lot.

    Harman's name apears on pro-pederast documents from that period. This has all been in the public domain for ages. The scandal is that it is not a scandal.

    Do try and keep up.

  8. David 2 doesn't get out much. Letters saying all this have appeared in several perfectly mainstream religious newspapers over the years. Probably where the Telegraph got the story from. No libel writ has ever been forthcoming. Not even a reply in print.

  9. No one will ever be sued for saying these things. I guarantee it. And we all know why not.

    As a very well-known pro-life and pro-family campaigner put it to me on this matter, "They've now got everything they ever wanted, anyway". And we all know how.