Another weekend and another acronym as the Sunday Independent played host to yet another counter extremism think tank and their reportage on the dreaded yet still unformed ‘Irish far right’.
The Burkean – Ciaran Brennan –
The adroitly named Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) graced the pages of the Sindo yesterday profiling the 12 major hate groups in Ireland, running the gamut of TERFs to Lefebvrians and warning of enhanced risk post-covid.
A product of two former Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) executives (Heidi Beirich and Wendy Via), this effective SPLC offshoot is a strange addition to the already cramped box room of counter extremism orgs hitting our shores.
Readers are likely already familiar with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and their gormless crew of disinformation gurus as well as Drew Harris’s besties at INAR Ireland with their advocacy of stringent speech laws in between advocating for libertarian socialism.
Garnering a rather foul reputation stateside for their big budgets and cutthroat tactics, the SPLC is the dogsbody group for corporate anti-racism argued by some to be in terminal decline. With a rather involved relationship with the FBI, the SPLC even elicited criticism from moderate conservative voices for casting a wide net in their fight against extremism and dodgy tactics.
Listing 12 groups in a rogues gallery of the Irish far right, everything from the Gemma O’Doherty to the expected political formations and nativist activist groups listed.
What is bizarre is mention of nominally conservative or even liberal entities such as the Iona Institute and the TERF fightback group the LGB Alliance so wide and aimless the ideological scope of the ‘reporting’.
David Quinn comes in for a nasty shock with the balalaika playing tradcaths at Iona being de facto labelled as potential Kremlin assets due to allegations it received Russian gold. Of course the same standard isn’t applied to Ireland’s jungle of American financed NGOs who constitute the think tank ecosystem invading the pundit sphere on the far right.
For merely having the bottle to protest against discriminatory practices towards working class Irish residents in West Dublin the protest group ‘House the Irish First’ comes under fire too.