How does the right attain political power in Ireland? The options must be considered and the most efficient option adopted. There are small parties, which one could join and or vote for; or there are the established parties which could be useful vehicles for a new membership.
The fact of the matter is that small new parties have almost no prospect of sustained success. The Progressive Democrats’ breakthrough was caused by their having a bloc of TDs to start with; such is the only way to attain immediate traction. Sinn Féin have built themselves up from nothing since 1997, though they were already established in the North, and their rise had little to show for it in its first 10 years; they only became significant only after Fianna Fáil, and then Labour, had implemented austerity policies in government.
If the right wants to have influence on politics it will have to use existing parties to do so. Fine Gael should not be entertained as a vehicle for influence, given that virtually all of their TDs and most of their members are anti-patriotic neoliberals.
The most efficient, and perhaps the only way to do so will be to attain a membership of influence within Fianna Fáil. This would not be to endorse the current leadership, or the party’s history, but to use Fianna Fáil as a vehicle for attaining power. If there was to be such a takeover, one would first seek to undermine the current leadership by supporting patriotic policy motions and no-confidence motions in the leadership at Ard Fheisseana.
One would then seek at future selection conventions to replace current TDs with candidates whose priority is the common good of the Irish people. Furthermore, such a move could hasten a general election when needed by passing a motion for Fianna Fáil to stop supporting the government, or if Fianna Fáil were in government by this time, to withdraw. Such a takeover could be completed in 1-2 years.
This will be a new party for all intents and purposes, and one that will be made in our image. This ‘new’ party would have the benefit of political and media incumbency. The policy programme would seek to dismantle the State-NGO nexus, and would develop far-reaching policies in all areas, from education and media, to immigration reform and international relations.
The fact of the matter is that parties who are already in the Dáil have an immense profile which makes it very difficult for new parties to emerge; as well as axiomatic media slots and state funding. The Irish right would be better served by attaining the benefits of being in the establishment, rather than trying to externally organise without such benefits against those who do.
The Irish right must ask why they are not doing this, as both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael currently promote anti-patriotic policies; and seeking change through small parties is futile. There is nothing to lose by undertaking such an endeavour and much to gain, whereas there is a lot to lose by not acting. There is undoubtedly a nation-wide pool of patriotic Irish people, and even if only a small minority of them were to join Fianna Fáil, they could become a majority of its membership in every constituency. I for one, though never having voted for Fianna Fáil before, shall be joining them to this end. Others should follow suit.
All patriotic rightists already in Fianna Fáil should stay put and organise into a coherent faction. Right-wingers in Fine Gael should leave that party given that there is no prospect of it ever again being receptive to their interests. It should be left, reduced in size, and allowed to become homogeneously anti-patriotic. Such Fine Gaelers should become part of the membership of influence within Fianna Fáil; patriots in Sinn Féin should leave it for the same reasons. Those in small parties should realise that these parties have no future and should join Fianna Fáil; as should those who support independent candidates, and those who are apathetic.
The next general election is certain to be a moribund affair with probably little change on the last election. The outcome will most likely be a Fianna Fáil – Fine Gael coalition government; a down the line anti-patriotic government with a small, comfortable majority, which will be shadowed by an identical opposition. This state of affairs needs to be broken up as soon as possible. Politics in Ireland are moribund for many reasons; aside from all the attention paid to Brexit, all mainstream parties have been rendered uniform by NGOs which are permanently embedded in government. NGOs which are constantly elevated and given unwarranted deference by all of Ireland’s legacy media.
A fake consensus has developed as a result of the Fianna Fáil leadership’s explicit abandonment of their membership without consultation or approval. The leaderships of Fine Gael and Sinn Féin have also purged their parties of dissent. This fake consensus – Micheál Martin’s Fianna Fáil, Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael, and leftist parties – represent only half of the electorate, and will struggle to maintain themselves given their false pretences.
The most necessary and sufficient measure to break this ‘consensus’ will be for the Fianna Fáil membership to overthrow its leadership and parliamentary representatives. The new, representative party will end the fake consensus, and real political divisions will be recognised. This will be good for democracy as much as anything else.
While it will be too late to influence the selection of candidates for the next general election, the sooner this process begins the better. Given that Fianna Fáil are likely to be in government within the next year, the effect of a membership of genuine right-wing influence can’t begin soon enough. This is the only way Ireland can have a patriotic party for the 21st century.