It's hard not to become dispirited when following the news out of dear old Ireland lately. The land of this writer's ancestors was once known the world over for its stubborn, centuries' long refusal to submit to the religion and laws of the global empire next door. Nowadays it's better known for its enthusiasm, its desperation even, for submitting to the religion and laws of another empire just a little further east, namely the European Union.
Perhaps you heard about the riots that took place in Dublin last month, which began as an expression of rage after an Algerian-born man (holding an Irish passport and thus an "Irishman") attacked several children with a knife outside of their school, leaving one little girl in critical condition. The Irish people had already been on edge, after the conviction of a Roma gypsy from Slovakia named Jozef Puska for the senseless murder of Aishling Murphy, a young Irish woman, as she was jogging in her native County Offaly. Murphy's boyfriend, in a victim impact statement given at the time of sentencing, angrily noted that Puska had “come to this country, [to] be fully supported in terms of social housing, social welfare, and free medical care for over 10 years [but could] never hold down a legitimate job and never once contributed to society in any way, shape, or form.”
His words were instantly censored by the country's one-party state media outlets, but they reflected the frustration of many normal Irish men and women who have watched their country's radical transformation at the hands of its current Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar and his Uniparty coalition government over these past several years. And just how radical has it been? Here are some numbers from Philip Pilkington, writing in UnHerd:
First the Brits, now the Belgians.
A full 2.8 percent of the population is made up of people who have moved to Ireland only in the last year. This means that if you walk down the average Irish street, one in 35 people will be newcomers to the country. While Ireland had been accepting large numbers of migrants for a long time, this was turbocharged by the war in Ukraine. Ireland, whose political and media classes have become notably outward-looking over the past decade, wanted to prove its liberal values and committed to hosting huge numbers of Ukrainian refugees. On a per capita basis, Ireland accepted six times more refugees than Britain — and made almost no plans for how to accommodate them. The latest numbers show that Ireland’s foreign-born population is 904,800 people. This means that 18 percent of the Irish population is foreign-born.
Pilkington argues that there is no nation known to history that has successfully assimilated this percentage of recent immigrants. And Ireland, which historically has been known for out-migration -- hence the prevalence of scores of "Mc" and "O" prefixed surnames throughout the Anglosphere -- is unlikely to buck that trend.
Why has the Irish governing class, almost without exception, actively encouraged this transformation? In part it is because it associates Ireland itself with backwardness, and that includes its people -- the Muintir na hÉireann, in the old language -- whom they refer to as "boggers," and "culchies," and find terribly unsophisticated and embarrassing. This is their opportunity to, as Bertolt Brecht facetiously suggested, "dissolve the people" and replace it with another. Which is exactly what they're doing.
And, moreover, it's because of their devotion to what Irish cultural commentator Conor Fitzgerald has termed "Goodboyism," which he defines as "the tendency in the Irish establishment to ostentatiously direct themselves towards external sources of cultural authority over and before the Irish populace or the interests of Irish people." Which is to say: they're obsessed with doing things which inspire the European and American elite to pat them on the head and say "good boy!" no matter the cost to Ireland itself. Of seven hundred years of being slave state -- first to Britain, and now to the E.U. -- is such an inferiority complex born.
No King, just Country.
Few causes are as dear to the hearts of the international elite as building a borderless world, but environmentalism might just edge that out. And on that count too, the Ireland's "Good Boys" are happy to comply. Just the other day, Varadkar said on the floor of parliament, summarized here by Gript, an independent news source that is the lone voice against the bien-pensant thinking of the unified Irish political and media classes:
I believe that climate change is the biggest threat that’s facing humanity at the moment. We have to be the generation of politicians that turns the tide on climate change and also on biodiversity loss.” He said that this could be achieved “in many ways.” “First of all, by reducing our emissions. And our greenhouse gas emissions are falling, although not fast enough....
We also need to scale up adaptation because unfortunately so much of climate change has already happened, is baked in, is inevitable.... “What’s required is a system change,” he said.... We need to change the way we generate our electricity. We need to change the way that we heat our buildings. We need to change the way that we travel. And we need to change our food systems, too. And that is going to take time and investment.”
He's not kidding. As we've mentioned before, the coalition government currently governing Ireland -- comprised of the two historic remnants of the Irish civil war over the 1921 Treaty, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, as well as the tiny minority, highly radical Green Party -- is committed to ending the practice of burning peat to heat Irish domiciles, the smell of which is so associated with home to Irish people. And they've recently committed to spending €600 million to cull some 200,000 cows in the hope of cutting agricultural emissions by 25 percent by the year 2030, much to the fury of Irish farmers, and despite the fact that, as we've pointed out before, "cattle have formed the basis of the Irish economy for more than two millennia."
What would the Big Mick do?
Eamon Ryan, Green Party leader, Climate Minister, and environmentalist zealot, recently made a nuisance of himself at COP28 about an early draft of the agreement to be signed at the end of the event, which he felt constituted a "get out of jail card for the fossil fuel industry." “We can’t accept this text,” he said. “It’s not anywhere near ambitious enough. It’s not broad enough. It’s not what parties have been calling for.”
Now we mentioned on this site the other day that several of the attendees at COP28 were frustrated with the proceedings for quite different reasons. Specifically, some of the poorer countries, and those whose economies are particularly resource dependent, objected to western nations foisting their environmentalist schemes upon them, to the detriment of their economic development. Well, Varadkar had some of them in mind when he pledged in his recent speech to "provide €225 million a year in climate finance every year by 2025.”
That sounds generous, of course, though divided up among the various nations who would need it if and when their economies are completely shattered by the forced abandonment of traditional sources of energy, it doesn't amount to much. But more important, such a proposal amounts to the type of colonialist project which the founders of the Irish Republic felt was being forced upon them. Sinn Féin, one of the early Irish nationalist organizations (not to be confused with the modern day eurocommunist party), means "ourselves alone." The Irish nationalists of that era fought and died for the freedom to steer their own course. It's a shame that, in the end, their beloved country has ended up as a willing tool in another imperial enterprise.