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Submitted by NollaigO on Tue, 25/03/2008 - 09:58

Ni thagann ciall roimh aois.
Good to read the recollections of John Palmer.
Regarding Sean's challenge to John Palmer to comment on the whole series:
I think he is under a similar obligation to recall what his politics then really were. Then he
(i) argued in late 1970, early 1971 that the left were in danger of making the same mistake on Ireland as they made on the Algerian War of Independence a decade previously. On the Algerian independence struggle, groups like the French CP, the OCI/SLL and the British Socialist Review group(later IS/SWP) were hostile to the FLN and preferred to cheer for the MNA, who became counter-revolutionary. Matgamna was apprehensive and saw similarities in the British Left attitudes at that time to the Provo /Officials split. At the time the British left in general were dismissive of the Provos as a right wing split but were excited about left wing developments in the Officials.
(ii) after internment in 1971, Matgamna argued that it was correct for the British left to campaign on the slogan “Victory to the IRA”. Matgamna argued that this should be a plank of campaigns like the Anti Internment League. John Palmer may recall debating this with Matgamna and his supporters in early 1972.
(iii) Sean hailed the abolition of Stormont in 1972 as a great political victory achieved by the IRA, (which it was). Does he now agree?

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