Written on: 5. 3. 2021 in the category: Uncategorized

And Who But the Traitor Greensleeze?

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There was I, gazing in expectation at my Bakelite phone with its lovely old dial, waiting for it to ring as excited journalists sought my reaction to the stunning news: Roy Greenslade had finally outed himself an IRA-agent. For Greensleeze has been the foremost media “analyst” in these islands for three decades. He has had a home in Donegal for much of that time, and throughout this period he has set himself up as a sort of moral guardian of the ethics of the media.

But over the weekend, the truth that many of us known for years was confirmed. Greensleeze was a secret IRA agent, not merely in his attempts to influence coverage of the Northern troubles, but also in his commentary on Irish matters. In particular, from my point of view, he was in the forefront of the lynch-mob that turned on me on Sunday July 31, 2017, after an ill-judged column of mine about women’s pay at the BBC. At 7.09 that Sunday evening he gloated, ‘Kevin Myers adds anti-semitism to his anti-republicanism. Result? Sunday Times drops him. Good.’ At 7.37 he added, ‘It took the Irish Independent eight years to remove Kevin Myers’s article on being a holocaust denier from its website.’

The tumult over my column had been bubbling from shortly after midnight that Sunday morning, when someone had accessed the Irish edition of The Sunday Times  – in London of all places, clearly making it a set-up – and had promptly denounced me as anti-Semite and a misogynist for identifying the two best-paid women in the BBC as being Jewish. I have never denied that it was a stupid and insensitive thing to have said, but it was intended to be a compliment, and it still is. The anti-Semitic allegations and the Holocaust-denying falsehoods have since been stoutly dismissed by my friends in the Jewish Representative Council, which has consistently stood by me. But the real question about Greensleeze’s involvement in the assaults on me from late on Sunday is: was this IRA policy? Did the IRA army council – which include at least two of Greesleeze’s friends – order his attack on me?

Certainly, the next day on Sean O’Rourke’s radio programme, Greensleeze was barely able to conceal his glee that I had paid “the ultimate price” for being “contemptible” towards women and Jews. In this he was joined by former journalist Kate Shanahan who wondered how I could have made the misogynistic observation that women take more sick leave than men. Where did I get my facts from?

Where, Kate? Ah, the internet. It’s a really interesting development in the media. You should look it up one day. Tap in “sick leave” and “women”, as I did, and lo, this is the first thing I found: a 2014 report from the on-line human resources magazine HRZone. “Last year, a study by Octopus HR found that women take 63% more instances of sick leave per year than their male colleagues. In February, this was followed by a survey from the Office for National Statistics that women are 42% more likely to take sick days than men.”

Shanahan lectures in something called “journalism” at DIT, which I thought stood for Dublin Institute of Technology, though I must be wrong there: more probably it stands for Disliking Internet Trawls, and they presumably give lessons in smoke-signals, homing-pigeons and semaphore as the best ways of getting copy to head office, where the cigar-smoking news-editor wears a green visor and elasticated sleeve-cuffs.

But it’s Greensleeze who interests me most, because whereas his public outing has caused major media interest in Britain, it has occasioned none whatever in Ireland. Not a single RTE news bulletin mentioned his public disgrace, which essentially invalidates all his media criticism down the decades during which he was effectively an IRA agent. Furthermore, The Irish Times has referred to him 104 times since 1988, but not once these past few days since the truth came out,  whereas The Spectator this week had THREE articles on his treason.

One of these, by the great Douglas Murray, pointed out that The Guardian even allowed Greensleeze to smear the heroic Mairia Cahill, who had accused a senior IRA man of raping her – a crime which was then covered up by the IRA. Can you imagine the courage required for a West Belfast woman to accuse the IRA of covering-up a rape? And can you imagine how low you have to be to doubt her word without any evidence? Furthermore, The Guardian has form here, because twenty years ago it was accused by Stephen Glover, again of The Spectator, of harbouring an IRA-supporting cell within its ranks, including Greensleeze. The Guardian’s then editor, Alan Rusbridger, denied the allegation and demanded an apology, which naturally was not forthcoming, and the matter drifted into the kindly mists of amnesia, from which it was rescued last week by Greensleeze’s insane, egomaniacal and treasonable outpourings.

And “treasonable” is not too strong a word to describe the deeds of a man who worked undercover in support of a terrorist movement that twice tried to mass-murder the entire British cabinet and succeeded in murdering a senior member of the Royal family. Greensleeze’s justification for his support for the IRA is that all its civilian casualties were accidental, and he supported the weak against the strong. But the two children slaughtered in Mountbatten’s boat, the Protestants regularly and randomly shot in Belfast, including the young Boyd brothers, the ten unarmed workmen butchered in South Armagh: these victims were not strong and their deaths were not accidental. Morally, Greensleeze is the Philby of his generation.

But the exclusion of his outing from the news of the day across the Irish media these past few days is not some strange oversight. It is par for the course. Stories that do not suit a media-outlet’s interests are these days routinely ignored. Neither RTE News nor The Irish Times reported my crushing victory over RTE’s Morning Ireland for calling me a Holocaust-denier. A year later, RTE invited me onto Claire Byrne’s radio show discuss my memoir Burning Heresies, which covers those scandalous events of 2017 – but only on the condition that my publishers rejected invitations from other radio stations. That done, RTE then disinvited me. Likewise, The Irish Times commissioned a review of Burning Heresies which was put up on the books review page last October but was then taken down, apparently on instruction from on high, and it has since vanished.

The outcome has been that few residents of the Silicate Triangle – Sandycove-Sandyford-Sandymount – and the leafy suburbs of Dublin 4-6-8 are aware of the existence of Burning Heresies. Excellent reviews by Eoghan Harris, Eilish O’Hanlon and Alan Shatter have not ruffled the carapace of totalitarian compliance that unites the Dublin middle classes. If something is not reported as a fact by the Izvestia of Townsend Street or the Tass of Montrose, it simply doesn’t exist. Secular dogma doesn’t need enforcement by a Stasi or NKVD anymore; it merely requires the silent steel of newsroom consensus for somebody to be dematerialised for all time. So not a single reporter rang to ask my opinion of the outing of the man who did so much to ruin me. I am officially posthumous.

But what can they know of Pravda who only Pravda know? My official exclusion from even the tiny fillers on the edge of the news-pages is a spatial inversion of the tip of the iceberg. A vast amount of information that is properly of public interest daily vanishes in the black-hole of the evening news conferences, as the agenda triumphs so totally that even those who enforce its strictures are completely unaware of their own submission to its absolutism.

The mainstream media are no longer wells from which to draw the truth, no matter how contaminated that truth may once have been by the buckets that brought it to the surface. At least once upon a time the bucket’s very arrival would tell you that an event had occurred that might merit further investigation (even on this spiffing new thing called the internet). But today’s journalists apparently prefer to leave the bucket at the bottom of the well, just in case its appearance might prompt further enquiries – which is apparently the last thing that newsrooms want.

Sorry; Roy who?

*For technical reasons, there’s been a temporary hitch in the supply of my memoir Burning Heresies. This should be sorted out soon. Please tell everyone you know, especially in the Sillycates & D 4-6-8 of its existence.

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