Its very rare that Kevin Myers writes a column that doesn’t provoke in me a strong desire to send a scathing letter to the editor of the Irish Independent. I usually restrain myself by noting that Myers thrives on controversy- perhaps his proudest achievement was managing to fill the entire letters page with angry responses to his notorious article on foreign aid to Africa (An article since removed from the newspapers website). Sometimes however I simply cannot contain myself, particularly when he makes comments which are simply untrue. In these cases I respond in an effort to correct the lies which Myers is spreading, but I fear that I do it so often that the Irish Independent have grown rather weary of publishing my letters. Therefore I’m going to make do with criticizing him here on this blog, for all the good that will do for anyone.
Kevin’s latest piece of absolute nonsense combines many of his favourite topics. He sets out to criticize the ‘moral secretariat’ who he describes as ‘the left-liberal cultural forces that govern European policy-making today’. As always he takes considerable liberties with the truth. In a rambling and incoherent article he attempts to portray the Third Reich as an example of ‘united socialist Europe’ engaged in a struggle with the rival force of ‘Soviet socialism’. On would think that attempting to taint the left by taking the name of the ‘National Socialist Party’ would grow old but it appears not. Such slander is easily rebutted of course, as the Nazi’s were at all times hostile to any movements with a genuine socialist ethos, and were a party supported primarily by reactionaries and the bourgeoisie. The party was at all times vigorously opposed to Marxism meaning that comparisons with the (allegedly) communist state of the USSR are incorrect. It is also obvious that the USSR was itself not truly a socialist state as control of the means of production remained in the hands of a minority, whatever the original intentions of the Bolshevik revolutionaries. Kevin also misrepresents the Spanish Civil War as a straight conflict between the Soviets and Fascism, ignoring the many other left-wing groups involved in the struggle who were brutally repressed by the increasing powerful Spanish Communist Party resulting in the disintegration of the revolutionary movement and the loss of international support for the Spanish Republic.
Such historical misrepresentations or blatant lies are par for the course with Myers. What particularly disgusted me about this column however, were his remarks on legalization of male homosexual acts in the Unites States. Apparently the Christian Right ‘warned that legalising homosexual acts would cause a VD epidemic’ and were proven correct ‘as AIDS caused a quarter of a million deaths’. This allegation is not only deeply offensive but also blatantly untrue. Many US states did not legalize homosexual intercourse until the 2003 Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v Texas. Also, to view AIDS as a ‘gay plague’ in this manner is a ludicrously outdated notion as it has become evident that the disease is by no means restricted to the gay community. Historical factors brought about a tragically high rate of deaths from AIDS among gay men in the United States but high rates of infection have also occurred in many predominantly heterosexual communities. Many African states suffering from an AIDS epidemic retain laws banning same-sex relationships which have clearly not aided in preventing the spread of the disease. Once again Kevin Myers has spread obvious lies in an effort to promote his reactionary agenda and proven the Irish Independent to be a sorry excuse for a newspaper.