Tribalism and all that

By | May 8, 2008

I avoided reports of the shin-dig at the Boyne. The love-in between Fianna Fail and the Unionists. Of course no surprise really that they get along so well since they share the sense of entitlement to power and a resentment that they should be expected to treat minorities with respect. Even I was suprised to learn how determinedly petty they can be. Not one Fine Gael councillor in Meath – not one – was invited to the event. Invitations were easy to come by, but only if you were of the right party. The guns maybe silent, but tribalism hasn’t gone away you know.

Oh well, the Da is gone to Serbia. I doubt he’ll see much there that will top the carry-on here.

46 thoughts on “Tribalism and all that

  1. Enf

    And the “local” minister they brought in was from another consituancy. Dermot Ahern is from the Louth constituancy.

    I worked with this branch of Fianna Fail for the ’97 election and they are nothing if not fanatical to the cause.

  2. The Crewser

    Perhaps if FG and its supporters were more pro peace as distinct from trying to mock what has been achieved (see Separate Peace) they they would be more welcome at such events. One appreciates their frustration at electoral losses but the new situation in the North is to be welcomed rather than denigrated as that item appeared to do.

  3. Enf

    That is rich. Blaming Fine Gael for the North. Why not global warming too?

    Crewser has only one point and that is that Fianna Failers are true Irishmen and everyone else either get with the program or go away.

  4. EWI

    Not one Fine Gael councillor in Meath – not one – was invited to the event.

    How many of those same FG councillors still venerate John “F*** the Peace Process” Bruton? Cry me some crocodile tears 😉

  5. The Crewser

    Just making the point Enf about “Seperate Peace”. Interesting that you made no mention of that.

  6. Shadow

    Your wrong about Serbia. As bad as things are here-and your right about things being bad here-Serbia is on a whole different scale, as is evidenced by the recent history of ethic politics in the region.

  7. Enf

    Give me the link. I don’t know what you are talking about

  8. The Crewser

    Enf, I think you need to take youself to one of those high rise buildings and engage in some blue sky thinking. I travel to the North regularly and believe me things have improved markedly since the peace process was concluded. Its quite an achievement for all involved. So dont knock it or demean it as the Seperate Peace item appeared to do. Its too serious a matter to be treated in the smart arsed way that it was dealt with there. Perhaps you do not recognise that, I dont expect you do.

  9. Enf

    I am not demeaning anything. But simply declaring the war is over like George Bush in 2003 is a bit premature. There are still divisions that have just begun to heal.

    These things take time and Bertie making sure we knew that he “fixt de norte” is just him trying to limit the fallout of the tribunals on his reputation.

  10. The Crewser

    It is a tribute to all those who worked on the solution to this long standing problem that it is really making a difference to peoples lives. No one worked harder on it than Bertie Ahern, including on the day his Mother died. At least have the good grace to give credit where its due. They must really have found out something nasty about you in Louth. One can only imagine what that was.

  11. Enf

    Again with the below the belt hit to the groin.

    Your comments are full of innuendo and implied shame. Credit where credit is due but the nastiness and contempt you treat fellow Irishmen with is unfair and disturbing.

    “They must really have found out something nasty about you in Louth” What the hell does that mean? And anyway. Wrong county!

  12. Tomaltach

    Sarah,
    I’m not sure if any of the great wars should be enthusiastically celebrated, but commemorated yes. And here, the Boyne has special significance. In terms of any possibility of sustaining a more native power base against the coloniser, the game was already up. The Great O’Neill’s defeat at Kinsale marked the end of any possilility of the Gaelic chiefs retaining real power. In terms of Catholicism, however, (in Ireland, and I suppose England too) you are undoubtedly right. The Williamite victory was the death knell for Catholic interests in Ireland. In the period that followed the infamous Penal laws were enacted.

    Given the way religious and ethnic division melded in the centuries that followed and the bloody power struggles that devastated the Island until the late peace process, the Battle of the Boyne took on a symbolic significance that makes a co-celebration a wonderful metaphor for the changes that have taken place. You can either ignore history, pick the bits that fit your particular story, or embrace it all. And I am fully in favour of the latter. In fact there was a great article in the IT on Wednesday by Brian Mercer Walker in which he described how the opening up of our approach to history has been a significant step in building, and ultimately securing peace. 1798, The World Wars, Remembrance, and so on.

    Sadly the sectartian division in too many areas in Belfast (and a few other spots in the North) has hardened since the peace process. I fear too that it is a development which is slipping off the radar. Usually these are areas which have other socio-economic problems – which ruling elites are always good at ignoring until they spill over to wider society. Letting this problem fester now would be a great and possibly very costly mistake. It is only right that it should be highlighted as often as possible. It is not enough though to undermine the extraordinary significance of developments over the last 15 years.

  13. iwentdownonher

    Ask your average teenager about the battle of the bune and they will look at you like your from another planet.

    We are all british now wheter we want to admit it or not. Eastenders – Coronation Street [our own “high streets”] Emerdale farm -The premiership etc etc

    WE are ANGLO/AMERICAN/irish

    For good or bad???

  14. Tomaltach

    youwentdownonher,
    There is no question that we are huge consumers of American and English culture. American culture, widely consumed the world over, has of course made particular inroads in the English speaking world. But the picture is more nuanced than you would allow. We have become more americanised, yet we retain a huge chunk of separate culture. I was looking at best seller lists in Ireland lately. Irish authors are ever present, whether the fiction of Cecelia Ahern or more serious literature such as Anne Enright, or the non fiction of say David McWilliams. In music, not only do we support our Irish artists but they are exported world wide from Enya to U2. Sadly we don’t have much of a film industry, so it doesn’t rank and our tradition is to consume very much the mainstream. I

    n Ireland, like all countries, our identity is increasingly influenced by global forces, yet we retain cultural and societal markers that are uniquely Irish. The GAA and Croke park spring to mind. Our traditional music is very vibrant and has poured into more popular forms in ways that haven’t happened in other countries. Despite the notion that the celtic tiger has killed Irish friendliness, we remain, as a small nation with strong rural links (the census of 2006 has 40% of us living in rural areas), a nation which is less formal and more open and flexible than most. Even if our social life depends too heavily on alcohol the Irish pub scene is fairly special. And if you think our character has taken on a purely american flavour, take note the next time you visit the states. Our attitude to role of the state or the importance of community is vastly different. Our moral compass, not saying it’s better or worse, but is calibrated differently. And back to the Boyne, though we are not all historians, we have an appreciation of the general thrust of Irish history, even if it is often a very mythologised version.

    All things considered, even if global forces have woven many foreign fibres into our culture, the core of our separate identity remains intact.

  15. The Crewser

    It is most interesting to see Sarah refusing to condemn Ms Devitts acknowledged acceptance of €20.000 in evidence to the Mahon Tribunal. And also refusing to condemn Enda Kenny’s clear double standards in refusing to take immediate action in respect of Ms Devitt while at the the same time preaching probity and honesty in Dail Eireann and demanding higher standards of politicians from other parties. Ms Devitt is an elected representative, representing FG and now Sarah tells us she is a nobody and implies that Enda Kenny has no responsibility in the matter. This is utter codswollop. As leader of FG Enda Kenny has such responsibility and he has dodged the issue with the assistance of the Media who have not brought pressure on him. But then Sarah is part of the Media who apparently feel that everything is hunky dory.

  16. Darren Prior

    Its no wonder that a significant number of people think that FG are West-Brits. You should read what some of them say on politics.ie. I’m regretting even being a member- even though I was only for a year.

    With FF becoming an all-island party and with FG paradoxically critcising and not really caring or not making their effort to do so also the view that a significant number of people have that FG are pro-Unionist and West-Brits will grow and harden very significantly.

  17. Enf

    West Brits my arse. This thread was started because FF in Meath are as petty as the come. I worked with them, nay FOR them and they are as backward and mealy mouthed about anyone who is not in the FF fold. Even to the extent of saying hello to a FG person you were living beside. The shite we got for that was incredible.

    We had something they wanted and they were too incompetent to do themselves. When the came looking for it after the election we told them to F off and that still stands.

    If this island is to be at peace then maybe we should bury the hatchet south of the border as well as north.

    The Crewser will never ever be happy with what anyone here says that is not lock stepped with his opinion. I am not affiliated with any party and it is open season as to who I vote for at any election.

    Jai the corrupt politicians. Jail them all. Is this crystal clear enough for you Crewser or do you want it in blood?

  18. The Crewser

    Are you, Enf assuming the role of spokesperson for Sarah. Have you been engaged to treat us to your inimatable bluff and bluster as some sort of deflection shield. You claim to have nothing but disdain for politics and politicians but yet you treat us to copious quantities of disjointed and utterly meaningless outpourings. Perhaps writing poetry is your real talent, maybe you should concentrate on that. Otherwise the melting of the polar icecaps will take place at a considerably greater rate than has been the case up to now.

  19. Enf

    Crewser you are talking your usual bollocks.

  20. The Crewser

    I will be keeping a close eye on those icecaps Enf.

  21. Enf

    Sure. You can use the melted water to run your engines.

    Crewser you are a genius? Stand at the top of Donegal and look North. Better yet drive off the edge of Malin head in your water powered car.

  22. The Crewser

    Enf, as you are well aware several important breakthroughs have been made by inventors (in motor vehicle technology) but their ideas have been supressed by the oil companies and other interested parties. But as the oil price rises you will see them emerge and hybrid fuelled vehicles, electric vehicles and others will become commonplace. Necessity is the mother of invention Enf and there is no need for those high rise complexes that you dream about. There is no great support for them and as you know people power is what decides these things.

  23. Enf

    1. Total bullshit and further away than you think -re new miracle technologies

    2. Bullshit again – re repression

    3. Commonplace? Again bullshit – From whence will these miracle machines originate?

    4. Ireland is a small little island. We are small minded about big things. The ban on high rise is a case in point. Semi-D’s in the sticks with no amenities is not a solution to any problem.

    5. People power? Are we in the Philippines now? Or is it Mob rule you are referring to?

    Maybe the people power you refer to is Crewser power. YOU decide what we want or need. You must be a God or something.

  24. The Crewser

    As ever Enf you are talking through your rear end. Pehaps between what comes at both ends there might well be enough energy to power something or other. Well, a lightbulb maybe. At lest then Enf you wouldnt be completely in the dark as you are now.

  25. Enf

    Haha. Crewser. Your mates in FF made sure we were in the dark for 40 years.

    Hoping and wishing isn’t a strategy.

  26. The Crewser

    Yea like you wishing and hoping that Petrol will hit €3 a litre. People will always find a way of overcoming difficulties.

  27. Enf

    No way. I don’t want petrol or Diesel at the price it is now.

    you sould like Chairman Mao now. You do love your dictators.

  28. V

    ‘Mob rule’, legitimated by the electoral system and led by a party who have mastered the art of ‘Clientelism’, which Ireland has more of than any other country in Europe. That is it, and nothing more. The only choice for other parties and Independents has always been to attempt to play this game too. That was the way De Valera set it up in the first place, and FF would do well to praise him because his system has benefited the party through the years and created the single party state we see today. Praise him for not being a ‘Salazar’ or a ‘Franco’, but remember his real trick, to create an Authoritarian regime with all of the decorations of a liberal democracy, a distrustful system for an ‘unworthy and unruly electorate’. The only real surprise or upset in Irish Politics is when FF loose, but of course that is not really possible now, is it?

  29. The Crewser

    Enf, might I remind you that it was your good self that was rabbitting on about what would happen when oil prices doubled.

    Enf said,

    05.08.08 at 8:59 am

    Ok. Provide public transport and tell me what happens when oil hits 200 and 300 dollars a barrel.

    Chairman Mao indeed. I leave that stuff to De Rossa and Co. or at least I did until he headed off to Europe to get the big bucks. I suppose you were a follower of that socialist stuff in addition to the tree hugging.

  30. John

    Darren Prior said:
    “Its no wonder that a significant number of people think that FG are West-Brits. You should read what some of them say on politics.ie. I’m regretting even being a member- even though I was only for a year.”
    Darren we will survive without you. Politics is no place for the faint hearted.
    Incidentally Albert Reynolds referred to John Bruton as John Unionist. Bruton was labelled as a West Brit because he stressed the importance of understanding the Unionist point of view. In this he was correct. Lo and behold Bertie Ahern adopts the same approach love bombing Ian Paisley and the DUP in an effort to secure a settlement.
    Incidentally the north is not fully at peace. Just look at the sectarian interfaces.

  31. John

    Just one point, which I omitted to mention in the previous post. The Anglo Irish Agreement signed by Garret Fitzgerald and Margaret Thatcher essentially smashed the Unionist veto as it introduced a form of joint authority. Not bad for a West Brit such as Garret. Charlie Haughey opposed it in opposition.

  32. The Crewser

    Glad you see you recognise Garrett for what he was John. But there was not much support coming from FG for Charlie Haughey when he took Thatcher to task for the despicable Belgrano incident. I suspect Haughey had little faith in Fitzgerald at the time of the Anglo Irish Agreement but as things transpired Fitzgerald does deserve credit for showing considerable vision in respect of it.
    Lets give credit where its due.

  33. Enf

    Mao was a dictator. No question. He preached one thing and did the opposite. You should be well used to to double standards in FF Crewser.

    Mao puts Bertie in the shade when it came to the cult of personality.

  34. John

    When I referred to Garret as a West Brit I was applying FFs appellation to him. It was tongue in cheek and was not meant to be taken seriously or litterly.I consider Garret a true nationalist and not a West Brit.

  35. Enf

    Your delusions are truly mad.

    I have never voted fro FG in my life nor am I associated with them.

    The only person referring to Anne Devitt is you.

    I have stated MANY times here that corrupt politicians and offiicals need to be jailed.

    You keep bashing us all with the same stick over and over again.

  36. Darren Prior

    Of course I see Garret Fitzgerald as a republican. The AIA was ahead of its time in the sense that a lot of Nationalists (in the South anyway) still don’t attribute any importance to it.

    That was then though and this is now. FF are becoming an all-island party and FG aren’t.

  37. The Crewser

    The imposter who stated “this blogging is easy” must be short of things to do. He / she has no connection with me.
    As I said before Enf if you keep her on the agenda thats fine. If you allow yourself to be used as a deflection shield its likely that some shrapnel will catch you.

  38. Enf

    Er… Crewser what the heck are you wobbling on about?

    I am nobodys shield. I am alarmed that you would threaten shrapnel on anyone. Elaborate on your threats again please? Are you making bombs?

    And to Tomaltach. If I can trace the influence of the Normans in my ancestory can I expect you and your mob will expel us from this fine land? Show me an Irishman who is 100% pure Irish back to Adam and Eve.

  39. Enf

    And if we are kicking anyone out for bringing foreign fibres into the country we need to start with the illegitimate Spaniard who supposedly freed us.

  40. The Crewser

    Enf, keep your hair on. They are just figures of speech, metaphors, literary devices.

  41. Enf

    These same devices are used to restrict our freedom.

  42. Ryan

    Sarah — it’s almost a year since FF won last years election. 12 full months

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