An odour of damp squid was to be smelt around Dublin’s Smithfield Square Saturday, as our NGO complex’s latest, lumbering against an as of inchoate populism mustered. Backed by enough NGO quangos to keep Lucy Michael employed for a millennium, Le Chéile is a relatively new initiative to astroturf a popular front against the so-called far right by the Irish left.
With a clement Saturday afternoon and trendy city centre location this writer expected the entire Square to be dubh le daoine, with lamp posts festooned with adverts the previous two weeks. Instead passing Burkean writers were treated to a rather sorry looking 200 or so largely NGO related individuals, complete with bongo drums occupying just a fraction of the square.
The relatively poor showing was made worse by the fact it was matched by a rather ad hoc demo addressed by Dolores Cahill, a 15 minute walk away on O’Connell Street. It would appear that the street energy is quickly departing from the left since the heyday of Jobstown and Water Protests.
Certainly after helping drive the knife into the working class by supporting lockdown lunacy can the left ever be trusted to lead popular revolts in this country? Weighed down by so much gold through the NGO complex, no reasonable person can sustain the delusion Le Chéile doesn’t embody our actual political elite and their designs.
To be fair a 200 strong crowd is nothing to be scoffed at, however this feat is somewhat blunted when quite literally half the crowd are either journalists or de facto state employees by way of the country’s elephantine diversity sector.
For a rally organised by self declared anti-capitalists, it featured a roster of NGOs bankrolled by plutocrats foreign and domestic. From the corporate trans lobbyists at TENI, Soros’s boys at INAR to Feeney’s foot soldiers at the Immigration Council of Ireland, Smithfield played host to NGOs in receipt of millions of State and philanthropic funding yet having the nerve to label themselves “grassroots”.
On the political side of things our Lord Mayor by way of Hong Kong Hazel Chu took to the podium in a speech that could only be described as self promotional in the extreme. Joining her were Ellie Kisyombe, the Malawian born Social Democrat candidate famously in hot water over her asylum status as well as Sinn Féin’s Health Minister in waiting Louise O’Reilly.
O’Reilly herself, likely conscious of the long term challenge a right wing revolt could pose to the fortunes of SF was most scathing in her rhetoric.
“We need to stand together. They are standing in the by-election in Dublin Bay South. Do not vote for these people, do not platform them, do not give them an opportunity and when they come out and attack the left, do not use that as an opportunity to put forward more right-wing views…“
A rather skeletal looking Paul Murphy took to the stage mouthing off a traditional trotskyist yarn about the far right betraying the working class, made ironic by the corporate funded NGOs he was flanked by. A politician long since past his peak, Murphy is transitioning to the role of podcaster extraordinaire as lockdown burns through working class communities and SF circles the wagon on his seat. Watching the perennial activist orate made me ponder how such a shyster was allowed to siphon off genuine working class disquiet the past decade.
I made a conscious effort to mentally tally up the estimated funds received by all the groups on show. With looping rhetoric, and the frank realisation that even an incel like myself had better things to do on a Saturday, I opted to leave relatively soon after the event finished in lieu of drinks at Cobblestones and the prospect of getting the shift off Emily Waszak.
Between the various ‘Institutes’ and surveillance firms being parachuted into the Republic to monitor alleged extremism, our regime is scrambling to establish an apparatus to deal with a budding nationalist political revolt. Le Chéile fits into that state of affairs by functioning as an astroturfed ‘movement’ of concerned citizens against the radical right.
I squandered the best part of a June afternoon with Le Chéile, but the insight garnered was that to a certain extent this country’s NGO complex is becoming a busted flush when orchestrating their long heralded popular front. I’m sure Le Chéile will have better days, but the sheer artificial nature of the organisation cripples it entirely.
Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many big money NGOs are suffocating Le Chéile in its cradle. Departing the event and stepping over the capital’s homeless, in a city driven off the brink by covid mania and looming multicultural oblivion acted as further conviction if needed of the cursed vision Le Chéile’s organisers present.
While it was a genuinely poor showing by the NGO complex last Saturday, have no doubt that our regime is marshalling an all out effort in its attempt to hold back the tide on populism.
Eventually they may even have enough true believers to fill Smithfield Square.