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'The Manipulators .... The Revolutionaries Strategy for an explosion in Ulster', by Stratton Mills and Robin Bailie (UUP) (1969)

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Text: Stratton Mills and Robin Bailie ... Page Compiled: Brendan Lynn

The Manipulators ....

"We do not want reform of Northern Ireland, we want a
revolution ...."


The Revolutionaries Strategy
for an explosion in Ulster


October 1969

(Published by the Ulster Unionist Party)


Statement by Mr. Stratton Mills, M.P. for North Belfast, and
Mr Robin Bailie, M.P. for Newtownabbey, at a Press Conference at the
Overseas Press Club, New York, on 5th September 1969.

We came to the United States a week ago to-day. We have come as individual Members of Parliament, not as representing either the Northern Ireland Government or the British Foreign Office. We have come. not as Protestants, but as Unionists, believing in the continuing unity of the United Kingdom. We have endeavoured to give a balanced picture of events in Northern Ireland, warts and all, without whitewashing. The problem is a complex one - as complex as society itself. We have said that no side has a monopoly of right or wrong.

We recognise that in what we are about to say now, we risk being cast in the role of right-wingers or Communist witch hunters. Nonetheless, there are facts concerning a serious situation in our country and only if they are disclosed can a full picture of events in Northern Ireland be properly understood, and only if properly understood can a solution be found. We have therefore thought it right and necessary - even at the risk of being seen in that role - which we do not relish - to present the following facts to you.

First, a quotation: "We do not want reform of Northern Ireland, we want a revolution in Northern Ireland, The Irish Socialist Republic cannot be built in isolation ... The best way English comrades can help the Irish revolution is by making the English revolution, and the second best way they can do this is by not misunderstanding the Irish national revolution as a simple national struggle against colonialism, or a simple struggle of the Catholic peasants against the Protestant landlords, because it is much more complex than that and they should get the complexity of the situation here into their heads."



The foregoing is a direct quote from Mike Farrell. a member of the controlling body of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and a top strategist of People’s Democracy, the key revolutionary movement in Ulster, formed last year by Miss Devlin and others. Farrell was a candidate in the recent election and opposed Capt. Terence O’Neill, our former Prime Minister.

On the evening of April 20, 1969. a discussion on strategy took place amongst the People’s Democracy leadership. Among those participating at the strategy conference was Miss Bernadette Devlin, M.P., a recent visitor here, and Eamon McCann and Cyril Toman. All were P.D. candidates at the Northern Ireland elections in February last.

Incredibly, this conference was recorded verbatim and published by the New Left Review 55, located at 7 Carlisle Street, London, W.1.



Only by reading this document can you really grasp what is behind the wave of violence that has swept Northern Ireland. Here is the recorded evidence of that meeting - a document entitled "Explosion in Ulster. P.D. militants discuss strategy."

Let me give you some sample quotations from it:

Farrell - "But P.D. is not just part of the Civil Rights movement. It is a revolutionary association, Its formation was considerably influenced by the Sorbonne Assembly."

McCann - "We got carried away by this and submerged the Young Socialist Alliance in the P.D. We submerged our politics into the civil rights movement. We have never made it clear that this difference in militancy stemmed from a political difference."
(Note Y.S.A. is a Trotskyite organisation).

McCann - "We cannot form a Bolshevik party overnight."

Baxter - "You can’t have a revolution in Ulster alone and our aim must he to create a Socialist republic, something on the lines of Cuba."

Farrell - "Our platform ... the demand for worker's control".



We want to state flatly that we are fully in agreement with Mr. Farrell’s remark that what is happening in Northern Ireland is not a simple struggle between Catholic and Protestant, between Irish Nationalists and Ulster Unionists, between the oppressed and the oppressors. It is, indeed, as Mr. Baxter says, much more complex than that.

But not only has this situation been misunderstood. Our purpose here to-day is to report how all of us in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Britain, the United States, and most of you here in the United States, have failed to recognise this new factor in our affairs what is, in reality, a cynical drive for political power and the establishment of an alien system.

Don’t merely take our word for it. We invite you to investigate thoroughly the actions, associations and published statements of the people who are fomenting the current strife.

What is their ultimate objective? Again, the answer is readily available in this document "Explosion in UIster." It is the establishment of a Socialist Irish republic," and its structure would be "something on the lines of Cuba,"



This view was echoed by Miss Devlin at the Overseas Press Club, Dorchester Hotel, London, in May last - "The kind of Ireland I would like to see is a Socialist republic on Cuban lines."

The strategy? That is summed up in the introduction to "Explosion in Ulster" is the transformation of "a sectional fight" into "a class assault."

Interestingly enough, and this should be fully understood by all Irish-Americans, the People’s Democracy strategy document states flatly that "such a development threatens, not merely the maintenance in power of the Northern Irish client regime. it menaces the equally reactionary independent regime in the South.’’

We are afraid Miss Devlin neglected to mention that particular of her organisation’s programme during her visit here?

Their stated objective is not only the ‘‘liberation" of Northern Ireland, it is also the overthrow of the ‘reactionary’ Republic of Ireland, and the seizure of power in Dublin. Let us repeat, this is a matter of public record, published by the revolutionary leadership itself.



Now, who are "they":

Peoples Democracy

Young Socialist Alliance

Irish Civil Rights Solidarity Campaign

Irish Militants Group

National Association for Irish Justice

Peace and Freedom Party

What is their aim and orientation? It is impossible to pin a precise label. They seem to he a Weird melange of Communists. Trotskyites. Socialists. Maoists, Castroites, of assorted Leftists and Revolutionaries. Their roles and organisation shift constantly as circumstances warrant. Their international ties are equally complex. Here is an example: When you leave here. I suggest you dial 6897437. The person will answer with that number. Then you can ask to speak with the National Association for Irish Justice - the shadow group which sponsored Miss Devlin’s visit here. The co-ordinator is Mr. Brian Heron.

Or you can ask to speak to the Peace and Freedom Party. You will be talking to the same people at the same number, and Mr. Heron is a "most active participant" of the Peace and Freedom Party. I quote from "The People’s World" of Saturday, February 24, 1 968. page one - a U.S. Communist Party Organ.

The Peace and Freedom Party is affiliated with the Black Panther Movement and supported Black Panther Minister of Justice for President last year. He is Eldredge Cleaver.



What is the link between this and Ulster’s present problems? Perhaps the answer may be found in one of the two favourite words used by the new Left. The word is "contradictions," or Mao’s phrase, "internal contradictions." As Mao points out, and as quoted by our extremists, in every society there exists "unresolved contradictions" which may be exploited to develop revolutionary situations. These "contradictions" may be political, economic, religious, racial - it doesn’t matter. What is important is that they he used to fuel the revolutionary bandwagon, and both our countries have obvious internal "contradictions." so that colour in the U.S., and religious and traditional divisions in Northern Ireland, are exploited.

The People’s Democracy leaders are quite candid and cynical about their exploitations of "contradictions," at least among themselves. In this P.D. document, Miss Devlin commented that P.D. still gets "a lot of support from Catholic capitalists and bigots." She predicts, however, that "within a year these people will do their best to destroy me and possibly may succeed."



Miss Devlin may be quite correct. Northern Ireland moderates, Catholics and Protestants alike, are now beginning to realise that they are being victimised. Only last Tuesday the Catholic Faith Defence Society in Belfast issued a statement saying "that recent events have proved that Roman Catholics were being exploited by extreme left-wing and subversive groups. Again we would make appeal to all Roman Catholics to be aware of these satanic and subversive elements, whose aim is the overthrow of our faith."

The Catholic faith Society went on to charge that "heretical revolutionaries were trying to use Catholics as tools."

"We would like to make it clear." the Society said. "that we will accept a united Ireland only under the terms of the present 32-county constitution. This we believe can be attained, but only if true Roman Catholics can unite behind our Church leaders, as they seek to deal with the international revolutionaries who will destroy our national identity. heritage, and freedom to practice our faith." You will note the Roman Catholic Cardinal’s acceptance and Miss DevIin’s rejection of our Government's peace plan announced on Friday.


Civil Rights Association

What has been happening to the Civil Rights Association in Ulster? Mr. Toman says in the P.D. document: "We will transform the civil rights issue into one based on Socialist demands."

In another development on August 9, 1969, Mr. John McAnerney, a respected civil rights leader and former secretary of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, warns that "extreme socialist revolutionaries have virtually taken control of the civil rights movement. They must be stopped." "There must be," Mr. McAnerney said, "a clear break between the extreme Socialists who are using the movement to promote socialism and others who sought reform." He pointed out that the original civil rights executive has been replaced by a "Unity Council ... virtually controlled by People’s Democracy." Mr. McAnerney has now resigned as secretary of the Civil Rights Association for these reasons.



The extremist take-over of the civil rights movement is also becoming increasingly clear to responsible people in the Irish Republic.

Only this week a group of prominent Dublin civic and business leaders warned the Lynch Government that its present policies were "causing a political vacuum into which extreme elements are only too ready to rush." They are right.

Farrell - Firstly, the border must go. because it is a relic of imperialism, and in order to root out imperialism we have to root out the neo-imperialist set-tip in the south and the neo-colonial one in the north."


Political Spider’s Web

You will, perhaps, now begin to see the basis for our comments since our arrival here last Friday We don’t pretend to have resolved all the ramifications of this political spider’s web. We hope. however. that we have given you sufficient concrete evidence for son to appreciate and see something of the tip of the iceberg.

We in Northern Ireland have had our problems over the years. We were making headway towards resolving these problems. We have had various Government programmes of reform. On June 19 last, Opposition M.P.'s expressed their satisfaction with the programme of reform. Yet, since then, we have been cast into the middle of our worst riots for 40 years, in spite of the fact that 96 per cent. of the people in Northern Ireland have expressed the desire to live together in peace.

Why? We suggest that the clue lies in what we have now revealed to you - the new "x-factor" in Ulster politics new - to us but you will understand perhaps more clearly than we, who are so suddenly involved.



This statement by us was issued in New York prior to the publication of the Cameron Commission Report which has substantiated the comment we have made.

Cameron Commission Report paragraph 235:-

"Since this Report was drafted and during the period of its preparation, certain events of grave disorder, in particular in Belfast and Londonderry, have occurred, which go far to confirm the inference which we have already drawn in earlier parts of our Report, that there have been and are at work within Northern Ireland persons whose immediate and deliberate intention is to prepare, plan and provoke violence, reckless of the consequences to persons or property. Their purpose is not to secure peace by way of reform and within structure of the state."

We believe that an understanding of the manipulators at work in our society is essential if more and more people are not to be sucked into the syndrome of sectarian strife. There are too many people in Northern Ireland who in the words of the Report "by their appeal to sectarian prejudices and bigotry have assisted to inflame passions and keep alive ancient hatreds" providing a fertile field for the manipulators to exploit.

At the same time the basic "contradictions" and divisions in our society must he eradicated. To this end we fully endorse the need for the speediest implementation of the Government Reform Programme.





Published by the Ulster Unionist Party


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