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Correspondence:  James Daly attacks ‘Blanket’ magazine

24 November 2006

Below we carry a letter by James Daly attacking the blanket magazine.  The letter is about a recent ‘Blanket’ article by Unionist John Coulter calling for a ‘revolutionary unionism’ that would organise in the South to bring Ireland out of the E.U. and back into the British commonwealth.  James attached the article, but we feel it unnecessary to reprint the piece, which can be obtained at

This is not a parody – this is the Blanket

Anthony McIntyre published this article in his Belfast “dissident” Republican journal The Blanket. The name of his journal is supposed to commemorate republican prisoners, including the ten hunger strikers. Fetishising free speech, he has published the famous anti-Muslim cartoons. 

Anthony recently attended the funeral of a UVF chief, of whom he mused in his journal that he was a liberation theologian. As a comrade exploded, on hearing that news, “Who the hell was he liberating?”

It is easy to imagine what James Connolly’s reaction would have been to an article like the one below. It raises the question “Who is the self-proclaimed revolutionary socialist Anthony McIntyre liberating?” It is not this article but McIntyre’s publication of it which is a parody; a parody of the actually existing bourgeois Irish republican tradition symbolised in the wishful thinking of the self-contradictory Irish flag, which is improbably green and orange.

Seamus Costello satirised the socialist version of that tradition in words borrowed from James Connolly’s sarcastic characterisation of the municipal socialism of William Walker, the Belfast representative of Hyndman’s Independent Labour Party, as “gas and water socialism”. He called it “(Belfast) Ring Road (Protest) socialism”.

The goal of the two Irish republican traditions is the seemingly laudable one of peace, but that is taken as meaning the destruction of resistance to imperialism, and submission to its local manifestation, loyalist pro-imperialism. That is the contortion through which the class-and-nation question in Ireland has led to the present debacle.

James Daly


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