Sunday, 26 August 2012

Collins & Lenin, Decency & the Devil

Last week, making the biggest set piece speech of the year in Ireland, at the Michael Collins Commemoration, in  Beal Na Blá, Cork, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny claimed that Michael Collins was "the outstanding organiser who brought Lenin himself to Ireland to see how the National Loan worked".

The claim was a lie. How does a Prime Minister's huge set piece speech get to contain a lie that a small child could have fact-checked? Even if it was true why would a Fine Gael Taoiseach even think of shaming Collins with such personal connection to Lenin? No one who admired Collins & had the remotest idea of the history of the 2oth century would have thought this was a compliment.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was one off the most destructive & evil men who ever lived. Few could claim to have done so much harm, been responsible for so much murder, so much destruction or set in train so much disaster. 

Lenin was not Czar of Russia, no Czar ever yielded such undisputed utter power over Russia, Russians & their lives. Czar's rule was tempered by some version of law, Lenin recognised no rule, law or curb. His brief tenure as Supreme Godhead was marked by cruelty & ferocity unimaginable and set in train eighty years of such horror, not just for the unfortunate Russians but for people all over the world. 

Collins was ruthless in pursuit of Irish freedom but his actions were always tempered both by mercy & his belief in the lawful, democratic state which was his aim. 

The great fat untruth in Enda Kenny's speech is deeply embarrassing. Far more embarrassing is that the Taoiseach & those close to him are so unaware, so oblivious to the horror that was Vladimir Lenin. 

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