The `war on behalf of
nationalities' is still going merrily on in the newspapers. That great
of oppressed races; Russia, is pouring her armies into East Prussia and
offering freedom and deliverance to all and sundry if they will only
arms on her behalf---without undue delay. She is to be the judge after
as to whether they did or did not delay unduly….
issued a strong manifesto denouncing the war, and pouring contempt upon
professions of the Czar in favour of oppressed races, pointing out his
suppression of the liberties of Finland,
his continued martyrdom of Poland,
his atrocious tortures and massacres in the Baltic provinces, and his
withdrawal of the recently granted parliamentary liberties of Russia.
And to that again add the fact that the Polish Nationalists have warned
Poles against putting any faith in a man who has proven himself
keeping his solemnly pledged faith with his own people, and you will
get a saner view of the great game that is being played than you can
acquire from the lying press of Ireland and England.
Of course, that should
you to the splendid stand which the British Government, we are assured,
against German outrages and brutality and in favour of small
Russian Government is admitted by every publicist in England
to be a foul blot upon civilisation. It was but the other day that when
Russian Duma was suppressed by force and many of its elected
imprisoned and exiled, an English Cabinet Minister defiantly declared
public, in spite of international courtesies:
`The Duma is dead!
Long live the
But all that is
and the Russian Government and the British Government stand solidly
favour of small nationalities everywhere except in countries now under
and British rule.
Yes, I seem to
remember a small
country called Egypt, a country that through ages of servitude has painfully
a conception of national freedom, and under leaders of its own choosing
to make that conception a reality. And I think I remember how this
friend of small nationalities bombarded its chief seaport, invaded and
waste its territory, slaughtered its armies, imprisoned its citizens,
chosen leaders away in chains, and reduced the new-born Egyptian nation
conquered, servile British province.
And I think I remember
having murdered this new-born soul of nationality amongst the Egyptian
it signalised its victory by the ruthless hanging at Denshawai of a few
helpless peasants who dared to think their pigeons were not made for
of British officers.
executions in 1906
here referred to are fully dealt with in the preface to Shaw's John
Bull's Other Island, and in W. S. Blunt's Diaries.
Also, if my memory is
playing me strange tricks, I remember reading of a large number of
nationalities in India, whose evolution towards a more perfect
harmony with the genius of their race, was ruthlessly crushed in blood,
lands were stolen, whose education was blighted, whose women were left
brutal lusts of the degenerate soldiery of the British Raj.
Over my vision comes
remembrances of two infant republics in South Africa, and I look on the map in vain for them to-day. I
remember that the
friend of small nationalities waged war upon them---a war of insolent
aggression at the instance of financial bloodsuckers. Britain
sent her troops to subjugate them, to wipe them off the map; and
resisted until the veldt ran red with British and Boer blood, the end
war saw two small nationalities less in the world.
When I read the
attempts of the prize
Irish press to work up feeling against the Germans by talk of German
at the front, I wonder if those who swallow such yarns ever remember
about the exploits of the British generals in South Africa. When we are
the horrors of Louvain, when the only damage that was done was the
civilians firing upon German troops from buildings which those troops
consequence to attack, I remember that in South Africa Lord Roberts
order that whenever there was an attack upon the railways in his line
communication every Boer house and farmstead within a radius of ten
miles had to be destroyed.
When I hear of the
killing of civilians in a line of battle 100 miles long in a densely
country, being of, as it were, part of the German plan of campaign, I
how the British swept up the whole non-combatant Boer population into
concentration camps, and kept it there until the little children died
thousands of fever and cholera; so that the final argument in causing
to make peace was the fear that at the rate of infant mortality in
concentration camps there would be no new generation left to inherit
republic in which their elders were fighting.
This vicious and
memory of mine will also recur to the recent attempt of Persia to form
constitutional government, and it recalls how, when that ancient nation
off the fetters of its ancient despotism, and set to work to elaborate
and forms in the spirit of a modern civilised representative state,
which in solemn treaty with England had guaranteed its independence, at
invaded it, and slaughtering all its patriots, pillaging its towns and
villages, annexed part of its territories, and made the rest a mere
dependency. I remember how Sir Edward Grey, who now gushes over the
treaties, when appealed to stand by and make Russia
stand by the treaty guaranteeing the independence of Persia,
coolly refused to interfere.
Oh, yes, they are
for small nationalities, great upholders of the sanctity of treaties!
And the Irish Home
knows this, knows all these things that a poor workman like myself
knows them all, and is cowardly and guiltily silent, and viciously and
Let us hope that all Ireland
will not some day have to pay an awful price for the lying attacks of
Rule press upon the noble German nation.
Let our readers
actively spread every paper, circular, leaflet or manifesto which in
days dares to tell the truth.
Thus our honour may be
thus the world may learn that the Home Rule press is but a sewer-pipe
pouring of English filth upon the shores of Ireland.
Worker, September 12, 1914.