Halloween has descended once more.

I sit here at my desk and watch the usual rituals unfold. The same tired old horror movies are rolled out. Somewhat questionable costumes are donned, offending the left with their purported racism and offending the right with their sexually promiscuous nature. The fictitious ghosts and ghouls in the street compete with the actual ghosts and ghouls haunting our political system. And drifting across my table comes the whiff of controversy like so much badly aged cheese.

Campus politics. Delightful.

I agree with one commenter that generally Student Politics are for those too boring to enter real politics. My voting in college, if I recall, was done mostly out of spite for some rainforest somewhere and to my knowledge accomplished less than nothing. Students are, in essence, overgrown schoolchildren and while President Philip Nolan’s removal of the common room in Maynooth University irks me personally, a bit of disillusionment always warms the embers of my heart. However, disillusionment has no place here today. The drama of Ascough Contra Mundum has predictably played out. Those who broke the law to accomplish a “good” won out over someone who had contradicting principles who used the law to express them. No doubt enforcing their Robin Hood complex, the pro-choice crowd has taken to the streets of twitter to celebrate. The line has been crossed; student politics has become a facet of the greater political battles of the modern day. This is most alarming. My principal memory of student politics is of an ardent if tragically naive communist handing out reams of paper notes complaining about paper wastage and deforestation. I shudder to think that student politics in Ireland will follow the dismal path the US has taken in that regard.

So why do I decry, like Peter Hitchens sans arthritis, the state of student politics? In many ways, student politics are an eerie simulacrum of real, grown-up politics; an initial earnestness that accomplishes nothing much. I will admit, this article is only partially motivated by the Ascough scandal. Campus politics and Student Unions have irritated me since my own college was billed for a stripper party on campus by one officer of the Student Union who shall remain unnamed. I have always, even during my ashamedly far-left days, considered abortion to be an infamnia.  But in light of this most recent outrage, I level the full heat of my scorn at the Repeal movement.

You will hear them before you see them, a sea of black jumpers that would make Mussolini himself blush. The Repeal crowd have always held a grim fascination for me. Abortion has, since the Hippocratic Oath, been considered a serious crime. In the 4th century AD, Saint Basil the Great said “a woman who deliberately destroys a foetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction between its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible among us”. Abortion has been regarded, since the fall of Rome at least, as a monstrous abomination in the eyes of the West. The notion of it being a human right has only recently appeared and is odiously asserted by this particular species of student. In the Soviet Union, abortions outnumbered live births right up until the end of that political system and even today abortion is cripplingly high in eastern Europe. Is this the freedom that they preach, the slaughter and destruction of generations?

I would ask; who will plough and who will reap? Who will pay tax and who will collect it? Who will build and who will tear down, if not the youth of future days, which abortion contrives to annihilate in the womb. The claims of its use as rare and agonised are insulting; the British had their same argument in the 1960s and it is plain for all with eyes to see what has happened; a great holocaust of children, at least 38% of their mothers having aborted once before. Once desensitized, the road to perdition is quick and easy. We have cast aside such beliefs, held as sacrosanct since the fall of Rome, as antiquated. Our morale and our morals were shattered by the grim procession of world wars and, once accustomed to mindless slaughter on the fields of burning Europe, we as a civilisation became all too at ease with consigning millions more to death at the stroke of a pen.

I do not say this as a thundering theocrat. I am a reluctant agnostic. I say now, as I have said before, that to have a young generation so fervent in their belief that children are a burden is nothing short of a looming disaster. Western fertility rates are collapsing. Our populations are greying. The Welfare State is a mounting cost, which we can ill-afford to entrust to a shrinking future. The west is crumbling. Brick by brick, we have conspired in the spectacular seppuku of our own civilisation. Abortion and its widespread legalisation has skipped hand in hand with other calamities. This is a drop in the vast ocean of blood that like Lady Macbeth, we may never wash away. Now, it’s ghoulish gaze has fixed itself on Ireland. I tell you this; should a bundle of self replicating, unique cells be discovered on some shivering rock hanging in the firmament, or on some dusty world orbiting a far-off sun, who could not call it ‘life’? But should this same unique blueprint be found within a womb, it is a blob of jelly, to be discarded at will.  

The statistics tell us that the percentage of abortions carried out in cases of rape and incest are somewhere between 0.7 and 1.5 per cent of all performed, and the difficulties in legislating for such a minority of cases are manifold. For the other 99%, is it a human right? Where did this right come from? Who decided that it was such? The Soviet Union and its communist sycophants in the west? The Enlightenment which set up the “national razor” and condemned so many to death? Herbalists and pill producers in the US at the turn of the century? Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood who gave eugenicists the world over the finest tool for the ‘improvement’ of humanity? I do wonder.  Iceland is almost entirely bereft of Down’s Syndrome. Not through some miraculous cure nor some quirk of genetics but by cold, hard eugenics. As Snopes helpfully points out, the government has not mandated this. Iceland, as a nation, has decided who deserves life and who does not. Let us examine where that train of thought arises from.

There are certain qualities which the Repealers like to point to, which separates ‘the quick and the dead’ so to speak. The ability to think, for one, as the foetus is unable to think and unable to express itself. Apart from the presence of brain functions such as dreaming and moving at an early state, we can be thankful that the ability to think is not what bars us from an extermination chamber, or surely much of humanity would perish. Foetus, a Latin word which puts a distance between the uncomfortable reality; it is a baby. Nothing on, above or under this Earth can become a human bar a foetus. The worst shame falls upon those most odious of all, those who claim a foetus is a parasite to be expunged. To these I say; you have forfeited your humanity.

Where are we left then, as young people? We have been told, squarely, that there is no place for us in Campus politics. If we campaign we shall be mocked and ignored, if we are accidentally voted in then we will be impeached and if we demonstrate we are labelled as lackeys of some sinister American agenda or painted as the worst kind of fanatics and misogynists. Seems we have little else to do but fight like our lives depend on it. Well, ours do not. Some others do.

I say, with compassion, to the Repeal movement; in bringing abortion to these shores you will unleash a hydra that you cannot begin to fathom. Your idealism will wither on the vine and the horror you will bring will never be undone. When the barbarity of your belief is made manifest fully upon the world, there will be such a hue and cry that we will surely banish abortion to the antediluvian period it belongs to, squarely next to other abominations in the dust-heap of history.

Yet for now, we must suffer the consequences of a world gone mad. Katie Ascough is just one small step in a tumbling down of this country. Our homogenised, black-clad youth, the spiritual descendants of Mao’s Red Guard, tramp on to victory in the coming Referendum. This is not defeatism, it is simple fact.
Frankly, nothing this Halloween could conspire to be more bone chilling than that.

Posted by Richard Lyons-Harrington