Thursday, 14 March 2013

Ben Gilroy and the Far-Right.

It has been revealed that Meath-East by-election candidate and leader of Direct Democracy Ireland (DDI), Ben Gilroy has links with the far-right.

Ben Gilroy - Secret Right-Winger

I won't go into detail about who DDI are as I have already done that on a previous post on this blog. In that post I made the assertion that DDI is most likely secretly right wing and they claim to be "neither right-wing or left-wing" to appeal to a wider voter base. I also alluded to the how they play on nationalist sentiment in terms of imagery and rhetoric and how this can be dangerous if we do not know what they really stand for beyond direct democracy.

Well today a friend of mine discovered some information that connects Gilroy and his tinfoil hat wearing friends to far-right bigots both in the UK and here in Ireland.

In a Tweet from Gilroy on the 28th of October 2012 he links a video of UK Independence Party leader and President of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy EU group Nigel Farage MEP speaking in the European Parliament. Gilroy comments with the video "The man calls it like he sees it. I have limitless time for people like that".

You can view that Tweet here:

He since has sent a number of other supportive Tweets about Farage.

Nigel Farage - racist scum. 

The Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) are not a friendly, pro-democracy group. They are not liberal or progressive in any sense. They are far-right, conservative bigots with bags of crazy thrown in. They are the political expression of Europe's suited fascists. People who weren't masculine enough for the boot boy culture of Nazi parties like Golden Dawn or the BNP but were also too radical in their racism for the main Conservative parties such as the Tories. They have now become the main 'Euro-skeptic' politicians in Europe but also hold bizarre views such as climate change being a liberal myth, multiculturalism causing economic crises and the next biggest threat to Europe is going to be Islam. Nobody should be giving this crowd an ounce of credibility.

The last three EU treaties in Ireland the EFD have used EU money to send every Irish house a leaflet to urge a No Vote. Half of the leaflet contained genuine reasons for people to reject the various treaties but the other half was taken up with racist nonsense about the horrors of Turkey joining the EU. An image of Europe being taken over by Islamic imagery was their picture of choice. The leaflet spoke about how the treaty was bad for 'Native Irish people' because a foreigner could take your job.

The EFD contains UKIP, The Slovak National Party, The Lithuanian Order and Justice party, The Danish Peoples Party, the Finnish 'True Finns' and up until recently Geert Wilders' radical-right Dutch 'Party for Freedom'. Other countries have MEPs in this group too. All of these organisations are anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-worker, pro-capitalist, anti-gay, nationalist, Pro-Life (or anti-choice) and most of them are Christian fundamentalist parties. Most of these groups harp on about the 'Sovereignty' of their nation and the need for direct democracy also.

You can see UKIP's take on direct democracy here:

As I mentioned in my last blog post Gilroy is well known to be part of the Freemen of Ireland Movement. The constitutional conspiracy theorists. Their radio station, Tir Na Saor, (which Gilroy and others from DDI have been on numerous times) interviewed the UKIP MEP Godfry Bloom in March 2010. They kept him on for ten minutes and did not criticise him once for any of his parties policies. You can listen to that interview here:

Also the Cornwall branch of UKIP include a video of Ben Gilroy on their blog. They rarely talk about Ireland but when they do direct democracy is always thrown in and in this case Gilroy is mentioned directly. You can see this here: html

Below is a picture of Ben Gilroy sitting on stage, near Micky Harte of the GAA and Pro-Life Campaign, at the support rally for Sean Quinn. Quinn is a crooked business man who owes the state hundreds of millions. Why would somebody support this man?

At the official launch of Direct Democracy Ireland, Clare Leonard, DDI financial spokesperson, made a speech in which she said "We now live in a society where if you are a rich banker you get a bailout, if you are poor you get a hand out". Clearly hitting a blow to the unemployed, whipping up prejudice against the working class, Daily Mail style. This is DDI's attempt to appeal to the business class. On reading the transcripts of the DDI launch it is clear that they are a very pro-business/entrepreneur party. You can Leonard's speech here:

In the 2011 general elections a candidate by the name of Jane Murphy ran in Dublin South as a member of the Christian Solidarity Party. She ran on the usual CSP platform of bringing back catholic values to Ireland but she also added in something interesting. Half of her main election leaflet was dedicated to the idea of direct democracy. Now you can share the opinion that direct democracy should be how society is organised and not be associated to Gilroy but the thing is the website address on her leaflet is the same domain as Direct Democracy Ireland: formerly but now Same URL domain. Same rhetoric and similar branding too.

As I discussed in my last blog post the founder of DDI, Raymond Whithead, is a mini-capitalist looking to venture on a new project. In various videos Whithead limits his contributions to discussing the Swiss system of democracy and a small bit about his personal life. However he fails to mention that he is a stern Pro-Lifer (Anti-Choicer). Before he ran in the 2011 general elections, Whithead signed a Pro-Life agreement with the European Life Network to say that he was fully opposed to all access to abortion. You can see this here:

So it is becoming increasingly obvious that Direct Democracy Ireland are secret right-wingers and my questions around why they do not discuss workers' rights, economic democracy or the Democratic Program of the First Dail are more or less answered.

Even if all of the above information happens to be a coincidence the point still stands: A political party that does not clearly situate itself on the political compass is open to support from anyone and infiltration from anyone. It is also open to speculation from individuals like myself that you may actually be something other than what you say you are. If you do not have principled positions of key issues it can lead your movement anywhere, including dangerous places.

In the upcoming by-election in Meath East I urge people to stay well away from voting for Ben Gilroy no matter how charismatic he may be. People give characters like Farage credibility because of their charisma and the few decent points they might make about EU democracy and austerity but consistency is key and you never know what people are not telling you about themselves.

It will be interesting to see how people vote in this election and whether Gilroy's money can give him a boost in the polls or not.

In you're in this constituency I would urge you to vote for Seamus Mc Donagh of the Workers Party No.1. I am not a member of the Workers Party but Seamus is against the Property and Water Taxes and is a real socialist candidate.

We don't need big mouths or show men we need real fighters, with principles that make it clear what they stand for and know what ordinary people want.


  1. Interesting article on the links of the American Sovereign Citizens movement and far-right extremism:

    Who are these people:

    1. Ha yeh, I read that article, it's assertions are flimsy at best. My take on it is this, DDI is less of a 'party' and more of a service in that it seeks to put in place mechanisms which can then be used by the people with an aim of returning some decision making ability back to the people. Once that mechanism is in place it's really up to the people how the country develops, as it should be right? One of the big assets of DDI is the idea of 'recall' which gives the electorate the power to recall their elected officials who don't do as they have promised or stop acting in their constituents best interest - if someone turned out to be a right wing nut we can essentially sack them.

      Regarding Ben imparticular, if the claims about him are true (which I don't think they are - especially when you consider the source of that information and what the authors stand to gain - I see it as nothing more than argumentum ad hominem and a political tactic - itself smacking of deluded conspiracy theories and exagerations) he would instantly lose the support of the men and women, workers, unemployed, business men whatever, all walks of life who are volunteering time, energy and money to support the ideals of direct democracy, why? Because we need something new. That is the essence of DDI, a desire for new, all encompassing and inclusive politics, a new way to govern ourselves in a manner fitting of the term 'Democractic'. I mean look at classical democracy in Greece - It was nothing like what we term as 'democracy' today. It was participatory, not representative and such a suggestion ridicules the essence of what democracy was supposed to be about, sullying that term perhaps forever more? As far as I can tell DDI want to restore the disenfranchisement people feel towards the system by opening up their role in it . Also, it's open to everyone. You could set up a DDI branch in Drogheda by organising meetings and committees, you can put forward your candidate from Drogheda and unlike other 'Parties' your candidate will not be subject to a party whip or the will of some 'leader' but on the principles that candidate promised before they were elected. I guess in this way it might be viewed as a network of independents under the same banner of: Restore Power To The People.

    2. I've shared links referring to Nigel Farage over the years, it does not mean I embody or even agree with his points of view, and so what if some Christians want Direct Democracy too? Seriously? It's a poltical approach - not a religion or a 'left wing' 'right wing' concept. This seems to me to be nothing more than a political tool used to tarnish anothers opposing worldview - If you're on the right all you need to say is "he's a leftie socialist" or on the left "he's a greedy capitalists". Each 'wing' can be viewed with equal disgust and repugnance by the other and you would instantly find agreement among those of a similar ilk who benefit from belittling the others. This is noisy and quite frankly, tiresome. It drains the potential for political, economic and social development into an 'us against them' scenario and a house divided cannot stand. And anyway - whichever 'wing' Ireland as a country represents, should be indicative of the will of the people, not preconcieved categories and either or reasonings. This has slowed the political process down to where the Dáil is a place for people to hurl verbals at each other in a show of intelectual superiority. Utter waste. Ascribing yourself to the ideal of 'Direct Democracy' means very little aside from a desire to have a more participatory democracy where, for example, the elected servants are not in a position to bail out banks, sell of our resources etc without clear and explicit referral to and by the people. The people will therefore determine policies instead of being powerless to do anything once an election has passed - the people will determine the leanings of government, whether right or left or center. And besides, whose to say you can't have a system that values both workers rights and free enterprise? Re-instating just one provision in the constitution, namely the right of referral giving us, the people, the power to hold a referendum on any given topic once a sufficient amount of support (via signatures for example) is garnered. IF the people want to vote to change something, we shouldn't have to wait until it is 'politically' suitable to do so.

      Instead of simply electing someone to represent you, to make laws and have them enforced, DDI would put in place quite realisable goals of returning power to the people - where we go next after that is frankly up to us; and I'm pretty sure Ben would agree with that too. Perhaps it's a venture into unknown territory for a lot of people and that can be offputting, even scary. But fitting your poltical beleifs into nice little categories to suit such and such a party is devoid of independent thought and creativity, in a word stagnant, and it suggests a psychological need for that certainty, almost like a father-figure who knows what's best and who we can trust to guide us through our problems. Perhaps it's time to grow up politically, take more responsibility for our own thoughts, actions and ideas and 'get involved' in this (as it stands today - pretty messed up) society and help to be the change we want to see in the world. Nothing ever changes by staying the same.

  2. If your not leaving replies up, you may as well stick it up your ramp. All of the information above is utter nonsense.

    1. I am leaving replies up, your reply was instantly published. Would you care to outline to me why all of the above information is nonsense? I clearly provide linked sources for all of the information.

    2. Why are you censoring comments by requiring prior approval?

    3. Oh god, paranoid much? Thats the way Blogger works, I get an email for ever comment posted and I automatically publish them all. Thats why there are so much comments already here.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I see this blog post is spreading more lies about Ben Gilroy that are based on a whole host of misconceptions. Let me clear up a few points.

    1. The author makes the assumption that by having connections to UKIP, that makes Gilroy a racist. This is nonsense. I live in Scotland and I see UKIP a lot closer than you do. UKIP want political independence for Britain. They are not a racist party, and I know many decent people who like Nigel Farage who would be absolutely outraged at your profligate use of the R-Bomb. I can tell you that Gilroy's alleged "connection" to Farage is based on a single point of agreement: that EU structures are undermining democracy, undermining personal freedoms and national sovereignty all across Europe, and the European peoples are prepared to tolerate it no longer.

    2. Ben Gilroy is correct about DDI being neither right nor left wing. The goal of the party is simply to restore the constitutional right to petition the government and empower people to make changes directly. Other than that DDI is an empty vessel. Whether the values it represents is libertarian or socialist is dependent on whether the Irish people themselves, as a demos, are libertarian or socialist leaning. That is the whole point of direct democracy.

    3. I take it from the philosophical stance of this piece that you think that anyone who engages in "acts of capitalism" is some sort of criminal. I guess this is a question of values, so I'm not sure we can really agree on that point. It is not a crime to start a business that employs people. Everyone agrees that we should act against the crony-capitalist bankers, that we should do something about corrupt monetary policy etc. But Ireland is not a socialist country in the way that you clearly conceive and never will be.

    4. I know Mr Gilroy and Mr Whitehead and I can say that they are some of the soundest individuals I have ever met. If you have any questions about DDI I encourage you guys to get involved and ask directly, don't pontificate and spread falsehoods.

    5. I am tired of public lynchmobs against individuals who are deemed by some as guilty thought-crime. I am personally pro-choice and pro marriage equality in this country, seeing both issues from a consistent civil liberties perspective, however I always try to treat those who have genuine concerns and fears about the rights of the unborn with respect and engage them in conversation.

    If Ireland is to move anywhere we need to have open, honest, respectful discourse and bridging of differences in opinion. But all this spreading rumours and casting aspersions in the blogosphere needs to stop.


    1. Let me just clear some things up in this response.

      1. I do not call Gilroy a racist however I simply highlight his admiration for UKIP. Anyone with a political bone in their body would find out what a person stands for before they claim support for them and I believe Gilroy in politicaly savvy enough to understand who Nigel Farage is and what he stands for. And yes UKIP are a racist party their policy is to stop all immigration into the United Kingdom, they want to ban the wearing of the burqua and they spout the usual "Brith Jobs for British Workers" line. And before you say it, yes that is racism: discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion or nationality.

      2. Postmodern nonsense. What would happen if Gilroy got elected? Would he only ever stand up in the Dail and talk about direct democracy? No. He would have to share his opinions on abortion, gay marriage, immigration, migrants rights, workers rights, minimum wage, corporation tax and a whole rake of other things that would make him tell us where he stands on the political compass. The policies of DDI may not, currently, be right or left but the people are the helm are most definitely right-wing.

      3. I know Ireland is not a socialist country. This is quite obvious to anyone with a brain. However I am a socialist so I will provide my critique of people like Gilroy from a left perspective. And what I see in DDI is people trying to appeal to the business class, nothing wrong with engaging with capitalism, we have to do that to survive. But there is something wrong with giving out about unemployed people during a employment crisis.

      4. I'm sure Enda Kenny is a lovely man on a personal basis too.

      5. I disagree with you hear. I disrespect people who actively advocate restricting women's right to choose. It is not a debate of two equals, it is an oppressive view versus a view of liberation. I give ant-choicers no time, space or credibility whatsoever. Your allowing them, the minority, to control the debate.

      My main point is this:

      If you are running for election somewhere people need to know your opinion on serious matters that effect peoples lives. You need to be honest with people. We live in a society divided by class, some people are rich and some are not so rich and some are poor. Gilroy wants it both ways, and wants all these people to vote for him. My piece is an interjection in his plans to pretend to not hold right-wing opinions.



  5. You claim that Ben Gilroy and Raymond Whitehead are both anti-choice, but on Facebook they are both friends with Choice Ireland. If Ben agrees with some of UKIP's policies or merely tweeted a link to Nigel Farage speaking, this doesn't make him racist. I've read UKIP's manifesto and nothing that I read was racist. The whole point of this party was to unite people of different ideologies who believe that our political system is broken. The reason behind this idea is because there needs to be a large number of people to achieve something positive. It seems to be working, since November it's got a very positive response.

    1. I don't think Facebook friends are a viable indication of a persons politics but even if they were Whithead is also friends with former Libertas candidate and Pro-Life Campaign spokesperson John McGuirk. I think a pre-election pledge that you are a pro-life candidate is far more of an indication of your stance on abortion than who you happen to have accepted on Facebook. I never say above that Ben Gilroy is anti-choice.

      I never say above that Ben Gilroy is a racist I simply point out his admiration for an outspoken racist. That tweet is just one example of his support for UKIP. I don't even know you but I seriously doubt you have sat down and read through UKIP's manifesto and even if you did surely you have seen their ambition to stop immigration into the UK and put British citizens ahead of migrants?

      Its working because the leaders of DDI are not being honest with people about what their opinions are on key issues. People are joining DDI because direct democracy is a great idea but they are being asked to put their faith in Gilroy as a politician who has views that many people would disagreement; i.e supprot for Quinn etc..

      I feel I am repeating myself here. Have you read the above comments and my responses?

    2. "I don't think Facebook friends are a viable indication of a persons politics" eh, but Twitter is? Selective reasoning to suit your preconcieved notions instead of considering new, even contrary information, that might bring you closer to the truth. In a word, ignorance.

    3. Interesting how you didn't come back at ANYTHING else I said. You're blind mate. Blind loyalty is quite sickening.

      He is not just following Farage on Twitter he has given various fully fledged endorsements of UKIP via Twitter. Accepting someones friend request on Facebook is not the same as sending out a glaring endorsement tweet.

      What new information? ALL THE LINKS ARE THERE for Christ's sake! Break your chains of support for this group.

  6. Until you have a better grasp of the English language you will never be taken seriously.
    More to the point, direct democracy enables people to have a point that can be questioned, debated and voted on (unlike the SWP) regardless of the 'politicians' personal viewpoint which I may add you're miles off in what you're saying about Gilroy. Try meeting up with him instead of making up 'facts'. Where have the SWP been hiding when it has come to stopping evictions and standing up for the constitutional rights of citizens. No where to be seen is the answer as you's are all to busy bragging about getting free printing from the dail at taxpayers expense. Ask your loud mouthed mate Niambh McD about that one.
    The people of Ireland are not interested in your brand of socialism, the people involved are little better than the corrupt crew that are already in place.
    On the racist point of view, what are your thoughts on mass immigration? I don't give a monkeys about UKIP but I do agree a line needs to be drawn If you look at the stats you'll find many companies have had to close their doors as they could not compete with the influx of 'cheap' cash in hand labour that contribute very little to the economy as opposed to expensive Irish labour who have to work within the Irish (very expensive) cost base. I (for example) had to close my stone wall building business as I couldn't afford to compete with the 50 euro a day lads that didn't pay tax, insurance or whatever else. This led to me having to lay off my entire workforce (myself and several eastern europeans included) that were all being paid a fair rate for a fair days work and money was being put back into the economy. I'll also add they were entitled to social where, as self employed,I've been left to beg after paying their way.No mortgage help, no pension, no nothing. Understand?
    Racism? No. Common sense, yes. What has happened, and judging from your naive comments you've no clue about, is that the eu have been working towards getting costs down to compete with Asia. Unfortunately they didn't take into account the cost of living which lowered would have created a level playing field. DDI would give us all a chance to participate in that decision. Would the SWP? Judging from your elitist bs, no.

  7. Hi Anonymous Niamh Mc Donald the loud mouth and proud of it thank you for the compliment. Shame you would not reveal your identity something to hide maybe from the electorate? I do not have to defend the SWPs record in fighting back it speaks for itself over many years maybe you should try google to find out from the Irish anti war movement, Save our Seafront, St Michaels Hospital, Water charges campaign, Oil rig campaign CAHWT to name a smallfew if I was to list them all I would be here all night. Look all we are asking is for Ben Gilroy to answer the claims he has connections to UKIP. DDI claim they want accountability among elected representatives so we are exercising what DDI claim to champion. The people have a right to know how a candidate views how society should be organised. If Ben Gilroy has nothing to hide what is the issue annonymous? (including your identity?)

  8. Perhaps both you and Seamus would be better served finding the common ground with other candidates than seeking conspiacies that do not exist. DDI represent the people in general. The huge majority of people who are being forced to pay for the failure of our discredited and corrupted system of alleged representational democracy which is anything but representatiional. You my friend seem content to seek your support from the great unwashed who have never contributed ti society, yet retain a fantastic sense of entitlement. This might explain your showing at the last GE.

    1. Anonymous, your comment about "great unwashed who have never contributed ti society" says more than enough about where you're coming from. But nonetheless, as the election agent for Seamus McDonagh I'd like to point out that Seamus has worked all his life as a steel fixer, in Ireland, England, Belgium for long periods of time and many other places for short contracts, and has paid his taxes all his life also. He is unemployed since the construction sector collapse in 2008 like many other people. He has contributed much to society in voluntary community work through the years, his contribution to improving people' lives is not confined to paying tax. Not that it takes away from your point of course that anyone who isn't working is "unwashed" and by inference is some sort of scrounger on society. How would you have the unemployed live, in poorhouses surviving off the "charity" of the well-heeled and begging for a crust to eat? Someone once said the future is barbarism or socialism. It is clear which you have chosen.

  9. Don't worry about it, sure they're all going to end up voting for the dear Fianna Fáil party anyway :/

  10. Ha I like the background cover baphomet? nice to see satanic symbolism scum!

  11. Ive just stumbled across this blog after googling info on the by-election in meath. I've read all of the comments so far and my view is that if we take all of the personalities out of the equation i.e ben gilroy, ray whitehead,the notion itself of direct democracy is far better than what we have at the minute. Representative Democracy hasn't worked very well for us and to keep at it would be like continually sticking our hand in the fire and expecting a different result. Ive no interest in any of the individuals in DDI or any of the main political parties. I'm apathetic to our system at the moment and the idea of being able to directly oppose things such as bailouts and to be able to hold a civil servant accountable for not doing things in my or my family & friends interests excites the hell out of me. Socialism is what we have right now, socialism is something that can be abused by those who are in power. With direct democracy no individual can get to a position to corrupt because they'll be slung out. All of those Fianna Fail muppets would've been out on their ears long ago or better yet wouldn't exist. As far as the Quinns go, who gave them all of the money in the first place?..banks..without getting into the ins and outs of banking, its the banks responsibility to decide weather it is prudent to give people money. If one of my kids wants money I decide if they get it not them. The financial collapse wasn't caused by the quinns, the financial collapse was caused by people gambling on derivatives. This is an international problem not just a domestic one. These debts (close to a trillion euro) cannot be paid back ever and it is unfair to hold the lives of millions of people in limbo when these large multinational corporate banks could just wipe the debt tomorrow and we could all get on with our lives. That quinn chap is right to not allow the state to turn him into a scape goat. The hypocrisy of it all is that the state has allways done its business on a credit card type of basis and merely uses our tax money as micro-minimum payments on the debt. Bottom line is that our system doesn't work and something has got to give

    1. The collapse was not necessarily caused by representative democracy, nor will it be improved by so-called direct democracy. It was caused by neo-liberal capitalist economics. The DDI group may appear to have good ideas, but they're ultimately not credible.

  12. Hey, I just found this on google seems to link Gilroy recently with the Christian Solidarity Party & it seems to suggest he is anti-choice :

  13. Has DDI resurrected the logo of the now defunct Irish National Party (a Theocratic Anti-Choice Anti-Immigration Party) ???,_1995),_1995)&docid=sYmv9_2Q5h8E8M&imgurl=,r:48,s:0,i:232&iact=rc&dur=1272&page=3&tbnh=78&tbnw=81&start=38&ndsp=30&tx=47&ty=33

  14. Hi Karl. Thanks for posting this blog. Indeed the actions of DDI, Independent Resistance Ireland, and Anti-Eviction groups have shown them to be undemocratic and intimidating. There is a reason they are not interested in left-wing/right-wing definitions for their groups - because they are so far-right, they would have no support.

  15. So lads you want to destroy DDI but what the hell are you offering to the irish people in place, as we want change . If there is a system better than what DDI have on the table put it out there because right now I want my voice heard and the only one offering that to me is DDI

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