Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
writes from University College, Cork, Sunday, November 21,
HAVING witnessed the fracas in University College Cork, and heard so much from both sides, I thought it prudent to ask a question of two of my own about these allegations before making up my on mind. the allegations which trouble me most, & so prevent me fully forming my opinion until they are resolved concern mainly your involvement with and/or membership of organisations such as the National Front, Combat 18 & the Ku Klux Klan. have you ever addressed these groups, or been a member of them? If you have not, maybe you could enlighten me as to where these rumours sprang?
1. I have a policy of not refusing to address any organisation that invites me, right or left, provided it fits in with my timetable. Most such listeners, no matter how boneheaded, benefit from my preaching. I have addressed Marxist and Fabian societies, US army officers, veterans, and audiences around the world.
2. As fortune would have it, I have however never (repeated never) knowingly addressed an audience of the BNP, National Front, or Ku Klux Klan. Nor am I a member of any of those organisations. Nor am I for that matter a member of any organisation. I have over the years met or come across individual members of these bodies, either unwittingly or otherwise, as have no doubt millions of other people.
3. A bonus titbit: American rightwinger David Duke visited me in the USA a few years back, bringing the typescript of his memoirs, which he showed to me as an author and publisher, asking for advice: I said we would not publish them, notwithstanding that they were of considerable human interest; I advised him that if he cleaned them up, omitting the word "Jew" at least fifty times from every page, and addressed the knotty problem of why he had joined the Klan at a young age, and even more important why he had then left it, he might find a mainstream US publisher who would take the memoirs (I strongly advised him against self-publishing). I put him in touch with reputable literary agents who might handle him. He ignored my advice: he left in the words, published it himself. I have not read the book, but that is what I am told.
4. The source of these rumours to which you refer: The more scurrilous they are (e.g. that I provided components for the Oklahoma City bomb!), the more nebulous the origins. Those we can trace have originated with Marxist and Jewish organisations, who should know better and be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. You'll find on my website a pulldown menu listing organisations that trade in this kind of rumour, and this may enlighten you a bit.
I have told the PhilSoc I will be happy to return to Cork at my own expense. I am not frightened off easily. I doubt that those who paid for last week's riot will be willing to do so again.