A Modest Proposal

The cattle boat became a perfect image of the ambivalence of Irish freedom: a profitable export in the hold, a bitter exodus of people on deck.

In the first post on this blog, I made reference to Fintan O’Toole’s book Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, from which the above is taken from the Introduction.  One can infer that the human population of rural Ireland was and perhaps still is as expendable as the cattle being exported for slaughter.  The book is long since out of print, but I obtained a copy nonetheless, with the intention of finding out about EEC/EU farm subsidies and exactly where the money ends up, as I was aware that Irish beef production exceeds domestic and export demand with the result that carcasses are stored in deep freeze for several years, these being part of the ‘beef mountain’.

Driving people off the land to make way for grazing animals is not unique to Ireland, the Highland Clearances in Scotland were for the same reason and the same process still goes on in developing countries to feed the greedy supersized gullets of developed countries.  Detailing the history of ranching in Ireland, O’Toole references F. S. L. Lyons in saying that the power of the old (Anglo-Irish Ascendancy) landlord class was already in decline by the late 19th Century giving way to a ‘fresh breed of hard-fisted graziers, the bulk of them Irish and not a few from Catholic and Gaelic families’.  These are the power brokers in rural Ireland and the reason why Irexit, the possibility of the Republic leaving the EU, which is being increasingly discussed in the twittersphere, is unlikely in the forseeable future.

This is by way of introduction to the following video, which features Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, an Irish politician with a maverick reputation who supports Brexit, but doesn’t quite go so far as to support Irexit, instead talking about ‘a fundamental review’ of how the EU is run.  Flanagan is from County Roscommon and received the most first preference votes to represent a predominantly rural part of Ireland as an MEP in the multinational, multilingual talking shop bereft of legislative power that sits in Brussels.

He has recently become more widely known for trying to access details of the TTIP and for posting a blurry video of this on youtube.  The problem ultimately is that Flanagan knows that the economy of the area he represents would collapse without continued EU farm subsidy, even though this in itself keeps its dependence on large agri-business.  Look beyond the outward appearance and you have just another parish pump politician, an Independent who sits with the ‘Green Left’ group because genuine independents are not allowed in the EU ‘parliament’, an advocate for turf cutting in the face of the EU directive which forbids it.  The supranationalist corporate ‘greens’ with whom he sits obviously overlook that; though those who enjoyed a spliff during their ‘radical’ youth might approve of his support for the legalisation of cannabis.  But at least he is batting on our side and trying to persuade Irish people resident in Britain to vote for Brexit, something which Irish yuppies who are only here on a transitory basis (which begs the question why they are permitted to vote) are unlikely to; though Irish builders long permanently resident in Britain who face competition from Polish builders might prefer to turn the clock back to pre-2004 and hence vote for Brexit.

Support for Irexit appears to be growing – as is opposition to the EU throughout the rest of the EU – as it has become apparent to increasing numbers of Irish people that their country will be asset stripped through the privatisation of its infrastructure by orders of the Troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund).  The most contentious issue at the moment being the imposition of water charges, which other countries have, but which in the Republic have been paid for through central and local government taxation.

Finally, Dublin’s chattering classes, to whom O’Toole belongs, like to talk about Irish people not knowing whether to look to ‘Boston or Berlin’.  The reality is that the Irish proletarian classes don’t look to either; they look to Liverpool and Manchester, London and Glasgow, even Birmingham and Coventry (though their football teams are crap).  For all that the Irish like to get one over on us, they know that their economic interests are more closely tied to Britain than to anywhere else.  They certainly wouldn’t support the Republic rejoining the UK, or us migrating en masse to the Republic to vote for it to rejoin, but they might tacitly support Brexit and a future Irexit, where they could trade with us as equal partners.

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IRA USA

Those who finance terrorist atrocities from the comfort of their homes thousands of miles away are the dregs of humanity. Most Americans must feel this way about those behind the ‘9/11’ attacks; but they looked the other way at those within their own midst who supported terrorism, financially and otherwise. After an aeroplane was hijacked in Boston and crashed into the World Trade Center, New York, did anyone in either of those two particular cities have a twinge of conscience about the fund raising activities that had gone on to finance bombings and shootings thousands of miles away? I am of course talking about IRA Incorporated and its legal wing ‘NORAID’.

Whilst hostility towards Britain is part of the USA’s national identity and has been from day one, for most Americans, Britain is irrelevant, a small island thousands of miles away with which they have no connection and no feelings one way or the other. The so-called ‘special relationship’ is a British invention. Those Americans who get off on hatred of Britain and British people, specifically hatred of England and English people, have adopted the identity of the adjacent small island thousands of miles away, as a vehicle for their hate. These pseudo ‘Irish’ Yanks are no more Irish than the Pope is; they insult genuine Irish people by claiming to be Irish themselves.

Intellectually Retarded Americans

It is on this particular day of the year whilst they dress up in green and pretend to be Irish, that Intellectually Retarded Americans display ‘England get out of Ireland’ banners. England is not in Ireland, but millions of pounds of English taxpayers’ money is, courtesy of the Barnett Formula, which apportions Northern Ireland the highest per capita government expenditure of the four parts of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland, with a population level less than one quarter that of Greater London, has a devolved elected assembly, its own civil service and an economy highly dependent on the public sector, all financed by ‘perfidious’ English taxpayers.

By contrast the economically deprived post-industrial areas of Northern and Central England remain neglected by Westminster. Our taxes have been used to bribe the IRA scum so that they don’t blow us all to Kingdom Come. This bribery cannot go on much longer as the Barnett Formula is in the long-run, untenable. So Northern Ireland will have to become self-supporting or unify with its southern neighbour, taxpayers in the Republic of Ireland picking up the tab; and therein lies the rub, it will cost Irish taxpayers more than they can afford. The IRA’s campaign to destabilise Northern Ireland was so successful that the place is an economic basket case.

‘English Taxpayers Stop Subsidising the Six Counties’ wouldn’t look too catchy on a banner and wouldn’t fulfill the ‘victim’ status that the pseudo ‘Irish’ Yanks like to afford themselves. Perhaps they’d like to explain to the taxpayers of the Twenty Six Counties why the latter should pay more. In a United Ireland there would be no need for the Six Counties to have a separate elected assembly, civil service or public sector, but there would be need for structural investment to make up for the job losses and for that it would be taxpayers in the Twenty Six Counties who would have to foot the bill; a hard job for a formerly independent state which is now owned by the Troika.

After all, the ‘independent’ part of Ireland no longer has its own currency, its leaders having given that up when the Irish pound, the punt, ceased to exist and control over interest rates was gifted to the European Central Bank. It was at this point that Irish banks gained access to greater levels of capital and loaned it on to Irish property developers whilst Irish politicians looked the other way. The ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy overheated. Plenty of Irish people joined in the resultant borrowing binge. The post-bubble depression has resulted in thousands of Irish people emigrating with England again one of the top destinations. ‘England get out of Ireland’, yes, quite.

However the principal issue with the island of Ireland becoming one administrative unit is that it requires the agreement of the majority on each side of the present border. Most of those north of the border will not willingly give up the National Health Service or other aspects of the British welfare state, they will not give up having a currency and a taxation system with which they are familiar and why should they? They will not willingly give up the indirect economic benefits of being part of the United Kingdom, such as flat rate postal charges. As specified above, those south of the present border are unlikely to agree to pay yet more taxes. Would you?

But it is not just that those with their ‘England get out of Ireland’ banners haven’t thought through exactly how a United Ireland would come into being, they fail to make a case as to why it should and who would pay. The cost certainly won’t fall on them. More than that, their ideology is that they want to impose how they feel Ireland should be, free from all foreign influences, except their own of course. For want of a better term, they are Gaelic Zionists, for whom Ireland has become their ‘Israel’, a place with which they have only tenuous ancestral connections and of which they wish to claim ownership; only without paying any of the financial cost.

The litany of murders carried out by the IRA would require a blog post several times the length of this one. They include the eleven people murdered by the bomb at the Remembrance Sunday service in Enniskillen in 1987, two Australian tourists in the Netherlands in 1990, who committed the ‘crime’ of driving a British registered car; and two young boys in Warrington in 1993. In particular, the wave of revulsion against these two boys being ‘legitimate targets’, led to protests by ordinary Irish people who had just had enough outside the Dublin office of the IRA’s political wing Sinn Fein, putting them on the defensive to explain themselves.

It was from these protests, more than the initiatives of any career politicians, that the impetus came for the ‘peace process’; it certainly didn’t come from the IRA’s Yank supporters, who had no interest in ending the carnage that they had helped to finance and from which they were and remain so far removed. Twenty years after the murders of those two boys in Warrington, a young boy in Boston, USA, was murdered in a terrorist attack, the trial for which took place last year. Now that a terrorist attack has happened on their own home turf, some of IRA Incorporated may even belatedly examine their consciences, if they are capable of doing so.

If you have read this far then you’ll realise that not all terrorists or their supporters are Muslims; nor are all Muslims terrorists. One of the two men murdered in the IRA’s bombing of Canary Wharf in 1996 was a Muslim, a Pakistani newsagent who was locking up his shop when the bomb exploded. He and his English employee, the other murder victim, were ‘legitimate targets’ simply for having the audacity to be ordinary people going about their daily business in England’s capital city; a city and a country in which many thousands of ordinary successfully assimilated Irish people also live and work, the real reason that the IRA’s Yank supporters hate England.