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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Anti-Abhortion Socialists, General Franco & Oliver J. Flanagan

Spare a thought for little Johnny Benson. He's not the sharpest steak knife in the set. Johnny is a member of a Facebook group of anti-abhortion 'socialists', a group whose existence is its own tiny tragedy.

Because it's Summer and I'm mostly on holiday, I yesterday posted this photograph on the Facebook group of the aforementioned 'socialists'. I titled the post "An early meeting of the Iona Institute".
This got little Johnny all hot and bothered. He commented to the effect that I obviously know nothing about History and that the Ku Klux Klan were both anti-Catholic and big on eugenics. The first bit is certainly true. Problem is, this is not a picture of the Ku Klux Klan. It is a picture of a bunch of somewhat conservative Catholic religious maniacs taken by Spanish photographer Rafael Sanza Lobato in 1970, thirty two years into the dicatorship of General Franco. Franco was something of a hero for many on the ultra Catholic right in Ireland. 

Below is an early meeting of the women's section of Fine Gael, back when the party was still sticking to its 'pro-life' election pledge. Neither Lucinda Creighton nor Fidelma Healy-Eames are thought to be present. It is believed, though, that both sent messages of support.  

The Blueshirts, who gave Fine Gael its first leader, Eoin O'Duffy, were big fans of General Franco. Some of them were blessed by Catholic Bishops before sailing to Spain to fight, albeit not very effectively, on the Fascist side in Spain's Civil War (1936-38). The were also staunchly pro-life and generally mad for all things Catholic.

A few years later, on July 9th 1943, the staunchly pro-life T.D. Oliver J. Flanagan made his maiden speech in Dáil Eireann. Among other things, Oliver J had this to say:

"How is it that we do not see any of these [Emergency Powers] Acts directed against the Jews, who crucified Our Saviour  nineteen hundred years ago, and who are crucifying us every day in the week? How is it that we do not see them directed against the Masonic Order? How is it that the I.R.A.  is considered an illegal organisation while the Masonic Order  is not considered an illegal organisation? [...] There is one thing that Germany did, and that was to route the Jews out of their country. Until we rout the Jews out of this country it does not matter a hair's breadth what orders you make. Where the bees are there is the honey, and where the Jews are there is the money."

It was not an abstract question at the time. Here is a picture of some of the Jews who had been, as Oliver J. put it, "routed out".
It was taken in 1943, the same year the pro-life Oliver J. made his speech.

Having examined the facts fully, I have come to the conclusion that little Johnny Benson, the 'pro-life socialist' has it 100% percent right: there is no connection at all between those who oppose abhortion and extreme right wing and fascist politics. None whatsover. 

Here is a poem little Johnny might like What The Virgin At Knock Would Say If She Could Speak.