I’ve just contributed this to the debate there…PaulOMahonyCork | 14 Apr 2009 9:46 am
Deco [one of the regular commenters there],
Thank you. I’m grateful to you for articulating so clearly an analysis that makes sense to me. I’ve only read it once and it deserves several readings. Most of all I identify with your point “There was no enough dissent…” and “There has been a stifling conformity - and it is still prevalent…”
My experience of coming back to Ireland in 2005 comes flooding back to me as I read your view. I’ve been summarising it as “follow the leader” mentality. I don’t remembering feeling the same in UK.
All the time I’ve been back here, I’ve felt myself to be weird in a weird world (paraphrasing someone).
The most educated generation ever of Irish people…
but the education system seems to have valued conformity with prevailing wisdom.
Fine Gael and Labour seem to have taken such a non-dissenting view of the crisis that neither of them have so much as organised one public demonstration of protest. They both seem locked onto a parliamentary game and waiting for the spoils to fall to them. Even Sinn Fein is equally compliant with the notion of respectable order.
What’s happened? How come the trade unions were so easily bought off by the offer of a seat around the social partners’ table?
In 1601 (or some such date) the tribal leaders of clan society got on a boat and escaped to France, abandonning their people. It’s as if Fine Gael, Labour et all have done the same: “presenteeism”.
Why don’t all the Labour TDs and Senators march together to the GPO and at least symbolically protest against the dreadful leadership of Cowen and Lenihan?
Why don’t they do something to give the people hope? Are they thoroughly corrupted, and too soft for the struggle?
There is no “Left” worthy of the name. No “Opposition” worth a curse.
By the way in which they behave in opposition I get my feeling for how they’ll be in government. So far, I have as much hope for an internal revolution from the grass roots of Fianna Fail as I have from the alternative government - precisely zilch.
But, there are dissenters getting on with the business of living well and thinking well, and making things happen. The trick is to build alliances with people of like mind, and those of opposite mind who are big enough to engage in the forthright exchange of views.
Thank you very much.