Written on: 26. 4. 2021 in the category: Uncategorized

A Nation Dunks Again

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The only explanation still standing is that Irish nationalists are culturally addicted to high-stakes low-rewards risk-taking. How else to justify this feverish campaign to force through yet another border referendum? It cannot possibly result in a united Ireland, but it will raise northern nationalist expectations, which range from fever-pitched when moderate to homicidally hysterical when mildly agitated and raise unionist fears from ranting paranoid to berserker-axman.

This addictive risk-taking is only made possible by another cyclical pathology, namely an utter inability to remember the pain caused by the earlier blunders. It began with the 1916 Rising and was repeated in full and bloody measure between 1919-1923. In 1922, the now-bankrupt Free State (which the year before had agreed to pay its share of the UK’s war-debt fighting the insurgents’ gallant allies) and in the middle of its own civil war, nonetheless launched a fresh war against the new Northern state, perhaps the most heavily-armed entity in western Europe, and comprehensively lost.

Ten years on, Ireland embarked upon an economic war with the entire British Empire just as the arrival of refrigerated vessels enabled Argentina to take the place of the Free State as a major meat supplier to Britain. This conflict was a disaster for the Irish people, though not so for its architect, de Valera: his corrupt control of the Press newspaper group made him and his family extraordinarily rich.

His offer of condolences upon Hitler’s death in 1945 fits into this cycle of self-destructive behaviours – in this case, international diplomatic isolation for the following decade, to join the economic isolation that was already breaking the Irish people. By the 1950s, Dublin was the only capital city in Europe where children of the poor routinely endured winter shoeless on granite pavements. The great national ‘hero’ of that decade was Sean South, a neo-fascist, anti-Semitic officer in the FCA who was killed in a cross-Border raid by the IRA. To this day, the loudly bawled anthem in his honour marks the ABCs of Irish life: amadans, buffoons & cretins. The funeral of this barking madman was the largest in Ireland since that of Michael Collins in 1922.

Barely had the Lemass/Whitaker reforms begun to transform the Irish economy than the Minister for Finance Charles Haughey, using the Revenue Commissioners, funded the formation of the Provisional IRA. Four thousand (including suicides, premature deaths and related accidents) lives and billions of pounds were lost in the 30-year war that resulted. One-third of the way through it, Fianna Fail came to power on a criminal give-away manifesto that promised to abolish local rates and car tax. Overnight, Ireland became a borrower to cover current expenditure, which is a long way of saying ‘death wish’. Likewise, electing a criminal like Haughey to be Taoiseach was like swallowing a national suicide pill. Apparently, we couldn’t see a bowl of plutonium soup without dunking our bread in it.

Meanwhile, the government bailout of the AIB-owned Insurance Corporation of Ireland cost the Irish taxpayer £1.2 billion (in today’s money). Far from this causing a ruthless enforcement of regulatory measures, it became the template for the future, as a bail-out virus entered the psyche of the Irish financial services sector, assuring decision-makers that the Irish taxpayer would always cover their losses in the worldwide casino of interbank borrowing.

So naturally, the government rescued the AIB after a rogue trader in its US subsidiary blew £1.1 billion and 1,100 American employees lost their jobs. Still, at least the culprit, John Ruznak (this being the USA) went to jail. In Ireland, financial criminals usually got off scot-free, as did their role-model Haughey, who, having stolen money intended to pay for the liver transplant for Brian Lenihan Senior, was in due course given a state funeral in which his coffin was carried by Brian Lenihan Junior. This at least acknowledged the state’s debt to a man who had set an ethical benchmark for other politicians to aim at. What other democracy has produced an electoral crop such as Beverly Cooper Flynn, the Healy-Raes, Gerry Adams, Martin Ferris, Michael Lowry, Arthur Morgan, Mary Lou McDonald and Sean Doherty? And that’s before we look at the squalid Sfira harvest from the last general election.

During the Celtic Tiger, the bail-out virus swept through the executives of the Irish financial services – Irish Permanent Building Society, PMPA, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Quinn Insurance, Anglo-Irish and Irish Nationwide. When the worldwide credit collapse occurred in 2007, little Ireland was the most exposed country in the world, and the bailout of the Irish banks cost over €100 billion: that’s one followed by eleven noughts, or nearly twice the global bill for the Chernobyl clean-up. Naturally, the bank regulator who had allowed this catastrophe to occur was allowed to retire early on a topped-up pension, paid for by the smouldering Dresden of the Irish economy.

He was not alone. The pay and pensions and of those in the public sector, drawn from current account, continued to be paid. Meanwhile, the non-unionised pensionless coping-classes had to keep their hairdressers, their flower shops and their butchers’ shops open, uncomplainingly forking out the taxes needed to repay the world banks for the bailout – €34,500 for every single person in the state – as well as to pay the pensions of the unionised public sector. Who was enforcing this? The EU. Who does the Irish electorate still profess to love? The EU.

This was suicide by a thousand cuts, stoically accepted by a people who seemed immune both to common sense and to cold, clear logical anger. Instead, last year the electorate nearly put the Raving Monster Psychos of Sfira into government, narrowly missing the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War by some fluky transfers in a handful of key constituencies. Otherwise, the IRA army council would be running the Defence Forces, the Garda Commissioner Harris would be taking orders from the people who murdered his father, and the Republic and the North would now be well on their way to becoming the Paraguay and Honduras of Europe.

Instead, Sfira and the idiot-wing of Irish life are today demanding a referendum on a united Ireland. But we couldn’t even afford to pay the bar-extension expectations of the Creggan, never mind governing Antrim. Perhaps we should be advertising for volunteers from, say, ISIS to become the first members of An Garda Siochana to patrol Ballymena, but with suicide belts, while North Korean community police will keep the peace on the Shankill with poetry-readings, flower-arranging and flamethrowers.

So yet another scheme that cannot produce anything other than misery, poverty, chaos and even bloodshed is being hailed as an elixir. And just as “someone else” is going to speak the Irish language to prove that it really is the first national tongue, “someone else” will pay for all this nonsense.

Apparently, having survived one Famine, we can only prove how worthwhile each current generation is by gratuitously inducing – and then surviving – another one. This addictive kamikaze cycle has constantly repeated itself, from the 1916 insurrection, the civil war, the economic war, the alas poor Adolf stuff, the isolationism, the Sean South war, the Provo-war, the recidivist bailouts and now the demands for a Border poll.

It’s surely time to call in a group-psychiatrist. The one with the chainsaw.

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