Ireland – Read This And Pass It On

Rightwards CartoonDammit, I am not looking forward to life under Enda. The reason Fianna Fáil went so wrong is that they were far too involved on a personal basis with business, banking and property. Fine Gael are meant to be the cure for that? Hmm.

Over the last ten years or so, the idea prevailed that if you let banks go crazy they’d magic up enough money for everyone. Since this failed so disastrously, you might think we’d consider voting for the sole major party that wasn’t in favour of it. Yet instead we’re going from one lot of laissez-faire capitalists to another. This is like voting for five more years of British rule after the Great Famine.

For the first time in our entire history, Ireland had a real chance of returning a mildly socialist government. Not a Labour overall majority, but at least a government led by the left. Yet even after the parties of the right destroyed the country, we still do not. Incredibly, there’s even a small danger of electing the furthest-right government we’ve ever had – a single-party Fine Gael administration. I almost wish that on the electorate. Go on, do it. Find out for yourselves just how right-wing Fine Gael can be without the moderating influence of Labour.

(God no, don’t. It would be like staring into the unmasked face of the national id.)

Why, even when kicked and spat on, are we incapable of voting for real change? It’s true Labour failed to present themselves as well as they might, and I don’t think Gilmore is their most impressive leader ever. But Christ, look at Kenny. There has to be more to it. Labour started dropping in the polls when voters decided that Kenny was the clear favourite in the race to be Taoiseach. They chose him like punters choose a horse. In other words, a substantial number of people out there vote not for what seems just, or even for what they think is necessary. They vote for who they think is going to win.

It’s insane, it’s stupid, but people do it anyway because it gives them a sense of being on the winning side. Like Man United supporters – only they get to decide our laws. As soon as it became clear that Enda Kenny was most fancied, people started clustering around him. The media unconsciously give him a softer ride (as they did with Brian, and Bertie, and…), suddenly he no longer looks like an uptight, ineffectual bumbler. Well actually he still does, but he’s going to be Emperor now so shut up about his nakedness.

People who vote like that deserve bad government, deserve to have their money stolen by laughing rich people. But they are not all of us. Don’t live in a country where that kind of person decides your fate. If you’re reading this on Friday and you haven’t voted yet, get up from the computer and run. Run to the polling station.

Or just keep on running. Let’s face it, the place is going to shite.


2 thoughts on “Ireland – Read This And Pass It On

  1. It’s more as if after the Great Famine, there was a great upsurge in popularity for the Tories in Ireland. “Obviously, our problems in Ireland were because Westminster just wasn’t *laissez-faire enough* in its response to the Famine.”
    Btw, among the various pluses and minuses of the British Empire, their response to famines was possibly their blackest mark, partly because all the infrastructure they built was export-oriented and partly because no emergency was so grave that they’d consider setting aside their laissez-faire policies. There was a nasty taint of Spencerist social darwinism in that, too. See the history of the Indian famines for existence–the only places where they weren’t disastrous were places where administrators ignored the London policy.


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