Referendums: Tyranny Of the People Versus Democracy of the Elites?

Barry Gilheany discusses the value of referenda and teases out the implications for modern democracies.

In this article I ask whether referendums diminish the quality of democracy in modern liberal democracies or do they encourage greater participation and better deliberation in the political process? I review arguments in democratic theory for and against referendums will be and typologies of referendums. In my review of the good, bad and ugly referendums; case studies, I review Ireland’s experience of the good, bad and downright ugly in its abortion referendum; the “good” example of the referendums in Switzerland and the good, bad, ugly and perhaps downright catastrophic of referendums relating to the EU: those on European integration that took place in 2005 in France and the Netherlands and the UK’s “Brexit” referendum in 2016. It concludes by discussing voter competency in referendums.

In a referendum the people decide directly on some issue, rather than electing representatives to make decisions on their behalf (Gallagher et al, 2013). Between 1945 and 2010, over 660 referendums took place in the 30 countries in Europe surveyed by Gallagher et al with one country – Switzerland – accounting for two-thirds of them. The use of referendums increased steadily in the second half of the 20th century (Gallagher et al, 2013) due partly to the expansion of the European Union and its integration imperatives and the increased salience of post-materialist issues such as environmentalism (Bjorklund, 2009).

The concept of referendum refers to a wide range of institutions that generate a variety of political interactions. Within the political system, it is useful to make the distinction between decision-controlling and decision-promoting referendums. In decision-promoting referendums, the initiative to hold a referendum is made by the political actor who has formulated the policy proposal to be voted upon. These can either be parliamentary majorities or popular or citizen-initiated referendum procedures. Popular initiatives, most hosted in Switzerland, can be interpreted as decision-promoting since the organisation or popular movement that promotes a referendum also draws up the policy proposal that is to be the subject of the referendum (Setala, 2009).

Decision-controlling referendums can be categorised as abrogative or rejective; they are deployed as a check on a policy proposal already passed by a legislative body. Abrogative referendums are held on enacted laws, while rejective referendums are held on laws passed but not yet in force. Both types of decision-controlling referendums may be demanded by signatories to a popular petition (e.g. Italy and Switzerland) or by other actors such as parliamentary minorities or regional governments (Setala, 2009).

The ideological debate on the referendum also feeds into wider debates within democratic theory. The proposal engages with a theoretical model of four normative models of democracy: the representative mode, the associative model, the deliberative model and the participatory model. It also examines the nature of citizen participation within each model (Michels, 2009).

Arguments for and against the use of referendums of democracies are largely based on the potentially beneficial or detrimental effects of such polls on the operation of representative government. The case for referendums can be summarised as ‘maximising legitimacy, maximising the human potential of citizens and the ending of alienation and apathy.’ The arguments against amount to the lack of analytical skills on the part of ordinary citizens to make wise decisions; when elected officials make decisions they weigh preferences and weld legitimate group interests into fair and equitable policies for all; rights of minorities are more likely to be guaranteed by the decisions of representatives and the referral of divisive issues to the public through use of the referendum device will weaken the functioning and esteem of representatives and representative government ( Uleri, 1995). These arguments are heard most frequently in Great Britain where belief in the sovereignty of parliament and its concomitant right and duty to make decisions for the people has been almost sacrosanct (Crepaz and Steiner, 2011).

To test the validity of these competing arguments on the desirability of referendums, I now examine some case studies. The first concerns Switzerland which provides a relative success story for the referendum. Switzerland is a federalist country with 26 autonomous units of government or cantons. It has four official languages which cut across the Protestant-Catholic religious divide, no dominant capital and ancient democratic traditions around pastures form which the founders of the modern Swiss constitution in 1848 were able to draw upon. The people (not judges) have the ultimate right to determine the constitutionality of a particular law through referendum for which the only requirement is that 50,000 signatures be collected; the voters are also final arbiters on constitutional amendments and a minimum of 100,000 voters can also submit a constitutional amendment of their own (Crepaz and Steiner, 2011).

The greatest strength of the referendum is the legitimacy it gives to political decision. Although, notoriously, female suffrage was not granted by referendum until 1971, women’s participation in politics became rapidly accepted by male voters, and since 2007 women have occupied three of the seven seats in the Federal Council, the Swiss cabinet. Innovative ideas have passed by referendum such as the Alp Initiative concerning heavy trucks passing through Switzerland (Crepaz and Steiner, 2011.

Swiss voters displayed a maturity in not displaying xenophobia when rejecting constitutional initiatives in the 1970s proposed by an anti-aliens movement which would have forced hundreds of thousands of foreigners to leave (Crepaz and Steiner, 2011) Arguably such maturity was not in evidence in 2009 when an initiative to prevent the future building of minarets was endorsed in a referendum despite the opposition of Muslims and the major parties (Gallagher et al, 2011).

The effectiveness of referendum initiatives in Switzerland in providing checks is borne out by an analysis of Swiss national elections and national votes from 1971 to 2005 which found a clear gap between the citizenry’s policy preferences expressed in elections and those expressed in popular votes (Sager and Buhlman, 2009).

Prior to the historic vote this year to remove the anti-abortion Eighth Amendment from the Constitution and to usher in a liberal abortion regime permitting terminations in the first trimester of pregnancy, the experience of the mediation of Ireland’s culture wars on abortion and divorce provided textbook examples of the functioning of the referendum as a conservative device in politics (Gallagher, 1995) and so a direct opposite to the Swiss experience.

For, in contrast to Switzerland, Ireland is one of the most centralized countries in Europe and was until recently a fervently Catholic and monocultural society. It was in just such an environment that Ireland’s political elites acceded in 1981 to a demand by the conservative Catholic coalition, the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign (PLAC), for an amendment to outlaw abortion to be inserted into the Constitution. The Eighth Amendment proposal was eventually voted upon in September 1983 and passed by a majority of two-to-one of those who voted. The history of Irish abortion politics between the passing of the amendment or Article 40.3.3 and its deletion is pretty familiar to TPQ readers so there is no need to recount it. Suffice to say that court rulings of Article 40.3.3 led to a virtual shutdown of the activities of family planning and student welfare services in relation to abortion advice and counselling and the globally reported X-case in 1992 restraining a suicidal child rape victim for travelling to GB for an abortion and the death of an Indian national in childbirth in 2012 in hospital both the result of religiously fundamentalist interpretations of the law of the most grotesque kind. These events galvanised one of the most transformative movements in contemporary liberal democracy.

Referendums on European integration are often in effect “second-order national elections; they are second-order because they are low salience, and first-order issues of national politics tend to dominate the campaigns. Consequently, the electorate uses their votes to demonstrate their feelings towards their government, (Hobalt and Brouard, 2011).

This ‘kick the cat’ mode of “sticking one on the establishment” was definitely a considerable, if hard to quantify, factor in the Brexit referendum in 2106 Many of the toxic elements evident in the “Second Partitioning of Ireland (Hesketh, 1990) in 1983 were present in 2016: a nativist cry against agents of globalisation, cosmopolitanism and the national elites held to be acting as their midwives (The European superstate in 2016; Planned Parenthood in 1983; apocalyptic scenarios of 70m Turks and hordes of Middle Eastern refugees coming to Britain in “Breaking :Point in 2016 and the “blood dimmed tide” and “the abortion mills of England grind the bodies of Irish children in 1983; a most unideal speech situation: the seduction of millions into tabloid newspaper and some popular culture narratives (often derivative of World War II memories) of plucky, independent Britain in thrall to EU tyranny in 2016; in 1983 the discourse and practice of almost an entire nation crippled by an historically aggrandising Catholic Church; the blatant lying by the victorious side in 1983 and 2016 and the inability of the losing side to tell a compelling story in response being perpetually on the defensive and lastly, and arguably, the most harmful of all to the functioning of democracy, the dereliction of duty by the winning sides in 1983 and 2016 to detail a pathway to implement a referendum result unlike the winning side in Ireland in 2018 and the losing side in Scotland’s independence referendum in 2014. The consequences of the latter were that in Ireland the judiciary and in Britain the executive sought to impose on the country hard line and rigid interpretations of the Will of the People which generated counter-reactions from the losing sides (Repeal the Eighth Amendment, People’s Vote) who ironically seek to use the referendum device in pursuit of their aims.

The opportunity afforded by the referendum device to voters to register discontent in an arguable “safer”, less “destructive” sway was evident This phenomenon in the two referendums held to ratify the European Constitution Treaty (ECT) in France and the Netherlands held within days of each other on 29th May and 1st June 2005 respectively. In both countries’ ratification of the ECT was backed by centre-right governments and centre-left oppositions and high levels of public support. In both countries though, the ECT was rejected after differing campaigns in terms of length (Hobart and Brouard, 2011).

Analysis of the voting choices in both referendums do not convey a uniform Euro-skepticism. For European attitudes became intertwined with domestic concerns. In France voters wished to convey their desire for a social Europe to evolve and fears of the evolution of neo-liberal European economy plus their discontent with the incumbent centre-right administration. Party cues were more salient in the Netherlands where the campaign was shorter and voters displayed more concern about loss of Dutch economy and greater enthusiasm for postmaterialist issues such as environmental protection (Hobart and Brouard, 2011).

In conclusion, no institution in modern democracies brings us closer to the ideal of ‘self-governance’ by the mass public than referendums (Hobolt, 2009). Any assessment of the impact of the referendum on the quality of representative government, I would argue, hinges on the competence of voters to make collective decisions. But the experience of the Brexit result in 2016 and of the repeal of the Eighth Amendment in 2018 completely overturned received wisdom on the nature of referendum contests and the deliberative culture in both the UK and Ireland. In the case of the UK; its traditional doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament was turned on its head as Brexiteers aggressively the Will of the People against the “unelected” judges who temporarily reined in Prime Minister’ Theresa May’s head long rush towards a “Hard Brexit” by insisting on a “meaningful vote” after a case taken by the City of London investor Gina Millar. In the case of Ireland, the orthodoxy about the historic moral monopoly exercised by the Catholic Church on Irish discourse and practice (Inglis, 1998) not equipping the electorate to fully understand the potential repercussions of inserting a ‘pro-life’ amendment into the Constitution in 1983 was completely swept away in 2018. Then the broad-based consent across the main political parties, the high deliberative quality of the work of the Citizen’s Assembly representing such a diversity of Irish civil society, the generational and transformative impact of the women’s movement on Irish civic culture and, last but certainly not least, the effect of the personal stories of the women affected by the cruelty of the Irish abortion regime. The high levels of civic awareness in Switzerland made electors more ‘competent’ arbiters in referendums. In the case of European integration referendums, the political competence of the electorates was not to be doubted but the mixture of issue preferences conveyed in the ‘No’ votes and the starkness of such binary choices, the consequences of which are played daily in the UK’s existential crisis over Brexit, makes workable compromise solutions difficult for politicians. A possible solution may be the holding of simultaneous referendums across Europe in the future (Hobolt, 2009).

To answer my own question, referendums do not have to lead to the vetoing of minority viewpoints and the closing down of debate by the triumph of the General Will as happened in Ireland over the abortion issue after 1983. It is the question asked on the ballot paper and the fullest understanding of the consequences of the voter’s preference in the terms of the implementation of the decision that determines the democratic validity of the plebiscitary device not a lack of cognitive and intellectual capacity of the plebs.


Bjorklund, T (2009) The Surge of Referendums and the New Politics Approach in Setala, M. and Schiller, T (Eds.) Referendums and Representative Democracy. Responsiveness, Accountability and Deliberation. Routledge/ECPR studies in European Political Science Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Crepaz, M.L. and Steiner, J. (2011) European Democracies. Seventh Edition London: Longman

Gallagher, M., Laver, M. and Mair, P. (2011) Representative Government in Modern Europe. Fifth Edition Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill

Gallagher, M. (1996) Ireland: The Referendum as a Conservative Device? in Gallagher, M. and Uleri, P. (Ed.) The Referendum Experience in Europe London: Macmillan

Hobolt, S. (2009) Europe in Question. Referendums on European Integration. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Hobolt, S. and Board, S (2011). Contesting the European Union? Why the Dutch and the French Rejected the European Constitution. Political Research Quarterly, 64(2), 309-322

Hesketh, T (1990) The Second Partitioning of Ireland. The 1983 Abortion Referendum Dublin: Brandsma Books

Inglis, T. (1998) Moral Monopoly. The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Michels, A. (2009) Ideological Positions and the Referendum in the Netherlands in Setala, M. and Schiller, T. (Eds.)

Sagar, F. and Buhlman, M. (2009) Checks and Balances in Swiss Direct Democracy in Setala, M. and Schiller, T. (Eds.)

Setala, M. (2009) Introduction in Setala, M. and Schiller, T. (Eds.)

Uleri, P. (1996) Introduction in Gallagher and Uleri (Eds.)

➽ Barry Gilheany is the author of a PhD thesis Post-Eighth Abortion Politics in the Republic of Ireland from Essex University, Department of Government. He is also the author of The Discursive Construction of Abortion in Georgina Waylen & Vicky Randall (Eds) Gender, The State and Politics Routledge, 1998.


  1. Barry - thanks for contributing these pieces to the blog. Don't worry about the comments. The commenters have been robust but not nasty or abusive.

  2. Barry,
    You ask if referendums diminish democracy. I think the simple answer to that, if there is one is no. For me it is the purest form of democracy you can get. Some of the problems you touch on are as old as democracy itself. Plato pondered these queries. I don't think there is a perfect answer, if we elect buffoons and self indulgent narcissists, that's on the electorate. I think in liberal democracies the increasing affluent population have forgotten in times of struggle humans revert to our pack mentality. People have been using the us and them mentality since time immemorial. Ukip didn't invent it. If people can't vent their frustrations through referendums, what do you leave them with? I think if brexit is our biggest worry, we're doing ok

  3. BG,

    There is a lot to discuss here, but after watching this ten minute video only a short while ago (which was only recorded in the last week), I want to focus on just one sentence from the above;

    ...Many of the toxic elements evident in the “Second Partitioning of Ireland (Hesketh, 1990) in 1983 were present in 2016: a nativist cry against agents of globalisation, cosmopolitanism and the national elites held to be acting as their midwives ...

    Well this is my 'nativist cry against agents of globalisation'. As some of you are aware the beautiful town of Wicklow was informed this week that its population will increase by 100 as Nigerians, Congolese and Pakistanis will take up residence in the Grand Hotel soon. For those of you who are beginning to scratch your head wondering what is happening to our country, a little island off the west coast of Europe and possibly one of the farthest places from these so called refugees (refugees usually take refuge in the nearest available country), please watch the following short video which shows NGO's training their employees how to coach 'refugees' into deceiving the authorities, teaching them literally how to lie, how to invent a back story, what the best lies are to use when applying, what sort of things the authorities are looking for in their stories which will favour their chances, encouraging them to cry, act emotionally disturbed etc. They don't seem to be bothered that genuine asylum seekers will suffer because of this or that the host country's culture and economy will suffer too.
    Rooskey, Kenmare, Donegal and Wicklow have been informed in the last week that their towns are going to be changed, changed utterly, all in the name of easing the 'refugee crisis'. In the case of Wicklow, what they are not being told is that the three countries which will make up the majority of its new arrivals are not at war and two of these countries actually have a Space Program! It seems that Ireland's Space Program is to give its space away.
    I hope some readers will take ten minutes out of their evening to watch the following clip. We are being deceived on a massive scale regarding 'refugees'. The 'toxic element' Mr. Gilheany refers to above is plain to be seen here, however it's not the 'nativists' who are toxic as Mr. Gilheany would have us believe, but the 'agents of globalisation' like the NGO featured below. The 'national elites' he refers to above are quite happy with this so called cultural enrichment and diversity, as the employee and landlord class, which they represent, will do just dandy as rents soar and wages are driven down. Ireland is in deep trouble.
    Are we in this little island helping refugees or are we unwitting collaborators in human trafficking? How many criminals are these NGO's aiding and abetting?
    Is it time to have a referendum on demographic upheaval and population replacement? Mr. Gilheany refers to the 'second partitioning of Ireland' above; is this the third and final one?

  4. David

    Thanks for your comment.

    The democratic efficacy of a referendum depends on the question asked and on the communicative competence of society to debate the issue. Plus making the implementation pathways clear after the referendum helps enormously.

  5. Barry,

    I am still trying to get my head around some things you wrote on this article, on a personal level I would have used the Lisbon2 vote as an example for 'Tyranny Of the People Versus Democracy of the Elites' and not the two abortion referendums.

    Today I have to listen to the DUP make a complete bollicks of a perfectly good deal buisness wise for this part of the world. The people who voted in the Brexit referendum from the occupied six counties to stay in the EU will be quids in with Mays botched Brexit deal. It gives the working class here the best of both worlds.

    As for the other Referndum that the island held in 1998..The one were everyone Got Fuck All, the one that was meant to bring everyone together..All I know is the streets that I walked in my teenage years is more segregated, has more oxymorons today than 1998 or when the conflict was in full flow (40 of the 97 oxymorons in Belfast carve up North Belfast), more poverty...From The Detail North Belfast 2018

    Referndums, votes....waste of time and energy. At least in 2018.

  6. Frankie

    Thanks for your comment.

    I think we need to prepare for another referendum or People's Vote as the politicians have failed utterly to put flesh on the bones of "Brexit means Brexit".

  7. Barry,
    " Communicative competence" comes across as arrogant and flies in the face of one person one vote. is it a technocracy you favour?

  8. David

    "Communicative competence" is a term developed by Jurgen Habermas and The Frankfurt School of cultural theory to the health of democratic deliberation and civic society engagement in a society at any given time.

    It certainly does not denote lack of competency in electoral decision by the individual and does not contradict the principle of one person one vote. It is a concept with which to assess how well-informed and conducted referendum debates are. Ireland's 1983 abortion and the UK's 2016 EU referendum scores poorly on such criteria I would argue.

    I do not advocate rule by technocratic elites.

  9. "Democracy is in the counting, not the voting", according to Dotty Moore, the main female character in Tom Stoppard's great play 'Jumpers'. I believe Joe Stalin - an ersthwhile hero of prominent Irish liberal left politicians, judges and Sunday Indo journalists - expressed similar sentiments - as did the Lousiana politician, Huey P Long. Amongst the many things which intrigue me about Irish voting procedures is the weird 11 hour time lapse between the end of voting and the start of official counting. On well nigh the only occasions on which the eyes of the world are upon the Irish nation, our powers that be - for reasons that I've never seen plausibly explained - choose to portray the Irish people to a global audience as a bunch of gormless slackers - too soft and shiftless to stay up counting votes on one night every few years. Of course, to be fair, there may well be very compelling reasons - which ordinary folk are not privy to - as to why the people that matter in Ireland prefer to have a long breathing space between the end of voting and the start of "counting"...

  10. Barry,
    Frankfurt school is were the right wingers reckon cultural marxism originated from, is that right? Thanks for the information, although a concept to assess how well informed the masses are, to me reads as arrogance. am glad to hear you don't advocate technocratic elites. Sometimes i wonder what people's intentions are when they bemoan democratic results when the results don't go their way.

  11. David

    That's correct about Frankfurt School.

    The problem with binary choices such as that provided in the UK's in/out EU referendum is that it simplifies complex deliberative issues and creates genuine confusion for the electorate who , in the case of Brexit, may not have b been aware of the full implications of an 'Out' vote.

  12. Barry
    If that was the case about full implications you'd have to redo every democratic contest. There has never been more information available, what people make of said information is their choice, if it wasn't it'd be unethical, surely.

  13. David Higgins,

    David, here is an excellent short article on cultural marxism I recently came across. Some people go full on 'anti-semitic' on this topic, others pretend that cultural marxism has nothing to do with the Jews. This author is more scientific when dealing with the topic. To give you an idea of the author's attitude to this subject, here is a quote from the article:

    "Be objective. Exercise critical thinking and reason. Objectively weigh any and all arguments. Do your own research. Read. Consider. Make up your own mind, so long as you do so at the end of a rigorous and exhaustive search for truth. Do not let anyone – least of all me – simply tell you what is truth, what to think. Decide for yourself, having arrived at an informed opinion. All I ask is you seek the truth. For the truth will out, so long as there are those who pursue it for truth’s sake.

    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -Aristotle' "

    If that whets your appetite, here is the article;

    And to see how far down the cultural marxist path we have been lead, here is a shocking headline from this week's Mail Online;

  14. Murrayd

    I have clicked on that identitarian website. I didn't see the Cultural Marxism article bu noticed such titles of its video output as:

    "You have heard of slavs-squatting; well here is nigger-squatting:

    Another refers to a Norwegian Christian Democrat party nominating a 31 year old paki muslim woman candidate for mayor of Oslo.

    There are numerous other video clips of a similar racist hue which confirmed my suspicions about that weblog which should not be allowed a platform on Facebook because it so grossly violates all community standards. It may even be criminal.

    It confirms to me that you hold far right racist, if mot outright neo-nazi, views and prejudices as your constant derogatory references to Jews the comments section of my article on Genocide underlines.


    Does this merit dumping in the Der Sturmer trashcan?

  15. BG,

    Whatever you do, don't deal with the issues in the article! You're looking a bit desperate to be honest Mr. Gilheany, but saying that, I think your tactics will back-fire and any reader of this thread on The Pensive Quill who sees your comment might actually read the article now, so thank you! For your information, and not that I have to explain myself, especially to you, but I am unaware of the other material on that site as I have been googling 'The Frankfurt School' lately and read only what comes up. To be honest I couldn't care less what other articles are on it, as that piece stands on its own merit. Also, if that article appears on other websites, I think you will look even more ridiculous. I will check! And seeing as you have spent more time than me on the site that the article was taken from, can you tell me is there anything there that compares with the racist, supremacist hate-filled passages from the Talmud I quoted on another one of your threads. I doubt it!

    I get my information from a wide variety of sources, including Jewish sources, in fact, Rabbi Sam Dresner is someone I have been very interested lately. His strident criticism of the Jewish controI of the porn industry has not endeared him to some people, and I presume you, but do you attack him as a Nazi and white supremacist Mr. Gilheany? I intend posting some information, very similar to the article posted earlier, but written by Jews. In fact, there is a huge amount of work out there written by Jews which is highly critical of Jewish Power. You however appear to live in a world where everything can be reduced to angelic Jews on one side and diabolical Nazis on the other. Seriously - how old are you?

    You are like a man who has something to hide. Something is not right with your behaviour here. I think I will let readers make their own minds up as to who is trying to share knowledge here and who is trying to suppress it. If I am consigned to the Trashcan here which you so desperately seem to want, well so be it - Jews have a reputation for stifling debate and threatening publishers and I expect no difference from you Mr Gilheany.

    Lastly, you say I constantly make derogatory remarks about Jews. Show me one sir. One - just one. Surely at this stage in your life you know the difference between a critical remark and a derogatory one. You are the only one here throwing around derogatory remarks like neo-Nazi. I have learned though that this is par for the course when someone cannot back up their arguments.

    (ps - I have just checked out that website. I actually owe you a big thanks as there are some excellent articles on it, including this one (I think the author is Jewish too!) -
    so THANK YOU!)

  16. Barry - when a request comes through for someone to be shown the door, I pass it on to three others to give a view before I do anything. I will do that today and get back to you.

  17. Murrayd

    I tried to locate that article on the Identitarian website but gave up without success after wading through title after title on matters like White Genocide simian depictions of people of African origin, conspiracy theories about the Rothchilds, threats to Western white culture from Muslim immigration, globalists.

    But what could i expect from a notorious white nationalist victim website?

    You ask for evidence of anti-Jewish remarks. Your constant invocation of Jewish-Bolshevism based on historically contigent over-representation of Jews amongst the Bolshevik leadership from which you then attribute collective Jewish responsibility for the crimes of Stalinism is the most egregrious. You talk about Jewish control of banking, media and the porn industry in a similarly collective and prejudical sense; a Jewish presence in these spheres is something that is worth enquiry. Declaratory statements of Jewish world-wide control is one of the most oldest and common antisemitic tropes around and are universally recognised as such.

    You listed litany of statements of bad intent by Jews in the Talmud. Many homicidal and genocidal statements can be found in the Bible Koran and hadiths. These afre works of fable and literary fiction not historical or archival statements. I like to base my research and writings on empirical evidence and reputable, falsifiable scholarship.

    You ask if I have anything to hide. It is I who write under my own name and whose Facebook and Twitter accounts are available to anyone. I am happy to engage in discussion around democratic theory,referendums, accountability for deaths in the NI conflict and most other things that I have an opinion on. I do not engage with racial and any other prejudice (including transphobia), with conspiracy theories or signifiers such as "Cultural Marxism" which so exercised Anders Behring Breveik.

  18. Barry - 2-1 in favour of the stuff going over to Der Sturmer.

  19. AM,

    I guess I know now what it is like to get on the wrong side of a Diplock Court! Saying that, I bear no ill will to you sir and wish you and your site the best of luck. I would appreciate it if you publish this last post of mine in the thread for a day or two before moving it to the Trashcan. I think that would be a fairer sentence!

  20. Part 1


    With all due respect sir I think you are seeing what you want to see and not seeing what you don't want to see in regards to the article I posted. Here is the address again, copy and paste it in the bar at the top of your page (and for your information the article appears on other sites too) -

    Now, it's there in black and white. Enjoy.

    The Gulags and the NKVD were run by Jews. Stalin was a Jew, as were 90% of the Bolshevik leaders. These are historical facts. Yagoda and Kaganovitch are two of the greatest monsters in history but are virtually unknown in the West. Solzhenitsyn, who endured the Gulags, said this was down to Jewish control of the global media. Do you consider this Nobel Prize winning giant of 20th century literature a neo-Nazi and white supremacist too? You say that attributing 'collective Jewish responsibility for the crimes of Stalinism is the most egregrious.' Well, going by that logic, why are Germans still paying for the Austrian Hitler's crimes? Why are people on this site not pulled up for being anti-British when they talk about the crimes committed by our old enemy on this island? People talk about American imperialism all the time but are never pulled up for being anti-American. You also say that many homicidal and genocidal statements can be found in the Bible. I agree Mr. Gilheany, but I think you will find them in the Old Testament! Which was written by and for whom? It is a fact of history that the Jews have not embraced the New Testament. With tragic consequences I must add, for them and literally tens of millions of innocent people, mostly Christians.

    You admit that there is a 'Jewish presence' in media, banking and porn. I think that is putting it mildly to say the least. It's like saying there is an Irish presence in the GAA or an Eskimo presence in the Igloo Industry! On the subject of porn, are you aware that when the Israelis invaded Ramallah some 15 years ago they took over three Palestinian TV stations? If that wasn't bad enough what followed was truly horrific. They began to broadcast hard-core pornography on all three channels. This is more than a 'Jewish presence' in the porn industry. This is Israel attempting to degrade and culturally destroy the Palestinians on a whole other level. No other tyrannical and genocidal regime has done this as far as I am aware. They only desisted from this psychological terrorism (on top of the actual terrorism the Palestinians were enduring then) when Jewish Settlers began to complain that they were picking up these channels too and that it was affecting their own children. Any opinions you want to express on this 'Jewish presence' in the porn industry? For those who find this story hard to believe (I certainly did when I first heard about it) the first three minutes of the following clip deal with this incident -

  21. Part 2

    As for white supremacists and nationalists, here is my stance on them, especially the English ones. Who could blame any young Englishman, especially from places like Rotherham and Leeds and other cities in the north of England for being sucked into these movements when they see the scale of Pakistani grooming gangs and the general mayhem now being unleashed in these (once English) cities. No mainstream party is giving them a voice and indeed no media outlet is giving them a fair hearing. I engage with them online and try to show them the error of their ways and explain how they are ultimately being used to promote war between ethnicities, which is just what the globalists want. And do you know what Mr. Gilheany - I think I have made an impression on some young people I have engaged with online. These organisations are run for the most part by Intelligence Agency assets like the despicable Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon.) I talk to anyone and everyone because (a) I am confident and clear in my beliefs (b) because I am always willing to learn and (c) because I try my best to get people to pursue a peaceful path.

    You can run away from the subject of Cultural Marxism as much as you want and do your usual thing of linking it to some psycho, but the topic is being mentioned more and more now and that is to be welcomed. In fact a young Irish lad whose mother is Jamaican spoke about it and other topics at a public meeting in Dublin at the weekend. He is only 21 years of age. The video has been uploaded to youtube - but I guess you won't watch that either sir!

    Once again it appears that Jewish terror is not allowed to be debated in an open and honest way. That is changing thankfully. Since the Israel lobby took over American Foreign Policy at the turn of the millenium in America, 6 trillion, yes, that is trillion and not billion, dollars have been wasted on the various wars being fought in the name of 'democracy' (around Israel's borders!) The average American is beginning to wake up to the fact that their country has been hijacked to fight Israel's wars and that the media there is dominated by Jewish corporations. Change is in the air as to what can and cannot be discussed now. Hopefully The Pensive Quill will join this debate some day and not allow bullies to dictate what should and should not be discussed. Finally, just to prove I get my information from different sources, here is a Jewish Rabbi talking about Nazi Germany. I hope someone finds this clip worthy of researching and having an open debate on, and that the good Rabbi, like myself, would not be consigned to the Trashcan if he ever posted here.

    Mr Gilheany, you have won a little battle here on The Pensive Quill, but I know you will not win the war. Truth will out.

    Shalom aleichem (Peace be upon you) The Pensive Quill and Slan Libh.

  22. Murrayd

    Have just read said article.

    Who needs confirmation bias when you so comprehensively give the game by linking to that pathetic account of the supposed or foretold genocide of the White Man in Western Europe by the eternally malevolent Jew whose latest conspiratorial vehicle is the Frankfurt School. White Man who when they work together can conquer lands. The Scramble for Africa anyone? Nick Griffin, eat your heart out.

    It is impossible to refute the non-falsifiable so let's look at a few factual errors you have made in this thread.

    First Stalin was not a Jew but of Russian Orthodox upbringing who did seek holy orders in that Church. OK, Felix Derzhersinsky, founder of CHEKA, was a Jew but he and the alleged secret police leaders you mention were torturers and mass murderers who just happened to be Jews not the other way around.

    There is a cottage industry of scholarship and literary fiction around the crimes of Stalinism, Anne Applebaum, Isaac Deutcher, Robert Conquest and Roy Medvedev are just some names that spring to mind. Anti-communism was the default position of most of the conservative and liberal print and broadcast media (the accursed MSM!) during the Cold War.

    I would not describe Solzhenitsyn as Neo-Nazi no way bit he is a traditional Putinesque Russian nationalist with the accompanying antisemitic prejudices .

    Israeli lobby controlling American Foreign Policy and instigating wars - Israel actually opposed the Iraq War. Libya does not border Israel and Afganistan is nowhere near it.

    Ta ra!

  23. Barry - I am not convinced it is best practice to call for someone to go to Der Sturmer and then continue to debate with them on the page you wanted them removed from.

  24. Barry,

    To find out who said this...

    We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.

    You have a few choices. You can watch this 17min video called The Dancing Israelis or fast forward it until 15min 18seconds and find out. Here is a link to the transcript of the video complete with source links for you to source yourself.

    " Israel actually opposed the Iraq War. Libya does not border Israel and Afganistan is nowhere near it."

    Do you till think that way now Barry....?

  25. Frankie

    I do not engage with conspiracy theories. So please stop pushing them my way. End of.

  26. Barry,
    Surely that depends on the conspiracy theory. You had no problem implying Trump colluded with Russia, without hard evidence. Is that not how most would define the term conspiracy theory? That's the frustrating thing about you, you'll make solid arguments then ruin it with your anti semitic definition which is just about anybody who criticises Israel or Zionism and your i don't engage with conspiracy theorists nonsense. What's the point in engaging in the first place if the minute somebody says something you deem outlandish, you cop out?

  27. Barry,

    I don't deal in conspiracy theories. I look at all the evidence on loads of subjects and call things as I see them. Does my second comment here on TPQ fall into the realms of conspiracy theories?

    The video is 17min long (Dancing Israelis). The trancscript link has all the source links. All I am asking you to do is watch it.

  28. 'Saddam Hussein gave the much sought after WMD's to ISIS(who didn't exist at that time and wants to topple Assad) who in turn gave the said WMD's to Assad so as he could kill his own people'

    How's that for a 'conspiracy theory'? Apparently 'stranger things have happened'. Lmao! There's wiser eating grass.

  29. David

    My definition of antisemitism most definitely does not include criticism of Israel and Zionism. The contention that is does is a version of the Livingstone Formulation (after Ken Livingstone) by which allegations of antisemitism or use of antisemitic tropes particularly against people on the Left are motivated by bad faith or automatically generated by the Israel lobby.

    There is a mounting body of evidence being patiently collated by the Mueller inquiry into Trump-Russia conclusion. Conspiracy theories such as 9/11 trutherism rely on no such empirical and corroborative evidence but instead in a belief in a "hidden hand" behind everything often with a Jewish connection. They group together incidental happenings and coincidences into a shock-horror narrative.

  30. Frankie

    I would say most definitely Yes as you extrapolate from the particular incident, an electrical failure, into another example of Rothschild i.e. Jewish financed malfeasance. The explanation for the Californian wildfires lie in climate change.

  31. Barry,

    The second comment I made was about the British testing a new chemical weapon on prisoners in 1974. While on the streets according to Barrie Trower they were using micro waves on Irish Catholics. And if that is the case then surely it isn't that big of leap in 2018 to think the American Military are doing the same thing in Paradise..

    The first comment I made about 'Did Jews use DEW's'...I stand over it (like everything I post here). If what I (and others are saying) is wrong and Jewish controlled banks don't call the shots. Show me were I am wrong without resorting to "Conspiracy Theorist'.

    Do you think Miko Peled The Generals son is a self hating Jew?

    (if you believe the fires are all down to climate change...check out what fire fighters on the ground had to say about last years fires.....)

  32. Barry,
    You're borderline obsessive. I see similarities between people who blame wildfires on the Rothschilds and your own views. Both manipulate any narrative to sound like evidence of ingrained beliefs. Most people wouldn't know a Jewish person if they slapped them, never mind harbour any irrational hatred of said group. Don't quote any stats indicating a rise in "hate crimes" thanks to the pc brigade you tell a joke nowadays and you're a hate criminal, whatever the fuck that means.