When the late Margaret Thatcher told Woman’s Own magazine that there is no such thing as society, she could just as well have been referring to present-day Ireland, where Thatcher would be considered quite progressive by her acolytes in Sinn Féin, the Greens and what remains of the Irish Labour Party.
Thatcher closed down Britain’s dirty coal mines, she encouraged home ownership and, most importantly of all, she always cast her parliamentary vote for abortion on demand whenever the opportunity presented itself.
As Thatcher also identified as a woman and helped revolutionise the ice cream industry, she would make a very acceptable leader of any of those Irish parties or indeed, of either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, whose TDs and senators are seamlessly interchangeable with their competitors.
This is because all those parties largely share her policies, and any small deviations from her core positions can be explained by pedantic local considerations, political jockeying or knee-jerk reactions to feedback from their various focus groups, and the vested interest groups they are in hock to.
There is no real difference between any of our hacks. Mary Lou McDonald and Ivana Bacik delight in joining disgraced American interloper Katherine Zappone’s pilgrim to the grave of Countess Markievicz, who chaired the inaugural meeting of Dev’s Fianna Fáil party; no doubt, those three privileged yuppies would also worship Dev’s grave if Senator Fintan Warfield could somehow stitch together some semi-plausible cock and bull non-binary trans martyr narrative for The Long Fella.
Ireland’s simplistic left-right political spectrum ensures Thatcher can’t even out-Thatcher all of the afore-mentioned. Thatcher increased interest rates to lower inflation, but our lords and ladies welding us into Greater Germany means we cannot implement such measures to cool our markets. Although Thatcher did put some brakes on public spending, our lot cannot even do that as their sole trick is to buy our votes with endless bribes from their magic money tree.
Although Thatcher did say: “There is no such thing as public money; there is only taxpayers’ money”, our Thatcherites do not quite view their magic money tree that way. They scatter our tax revenues to the four winds and, as per the Thatcher play book, sell off (privatise to their buddies) any remaining public goods to pay off some of the huge national bills their collective stupidity has racked up. They are addicted to maxing out the national credit card and just paying off the monthly minimum so party time can continue for them for now.
Not so Green icon Thatcher, who put climate change, acid rain and general pollution into the smack centre of mainstream British discourse. Thatcher passed the 1990 Environmental Protection Act, founded the Hadley Centre for Climate Research and Prediction, established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and ratified the Montreal Protocol on preserving the ozone, whereas Eamon Ryan can only clean his glasses with his Covid mask and bring used plastic milk bottles into the Oireachtas to make some esoteric point or other.
Although Thatcher had to make some noises on immigration to stave off the National Front’s electoral challenge, she would be proud of how Leinster House’s Thatcherites exploit not only our own but those they import by the tens of thousands as well. And, as they are now buying their gay storm troopers assault aircraft and ships, Thatcher would think Leinster House’s Leprechaun Land was just a miniature version of the Little England she bade adieu to on April 8th, 2013.
Though she would find kindred souls galore in both of Leinster House’s chambers, Thatcher would find no talent to speak of there, just a few hundred lacklustre lackeys, each trying to out-Thatcher the other.
She will, however, have the consolation of having our next Fine Gael-Sinn Féin coalition government introduce yet more of her policies. Sinn Féin are sound on the national question; with their DUP partners up north, they have solidified the Union by gerrymandering the Orange statelet, with little blowback except from that caused by their rampant nepotism in Derry. Down South, Fine Gael’s mongrel foxes have been clearly in the drivers’ seat since Peter Sutherland’s World Economic Forum cronies first infiltrated it in the early 1970s.
With Sinn Féin and Fine Gael both subservient to PESCO/NATO/TROIKA/EU stewardship, and with Helen McEntee and Mary Lou McDonald being respective leaders of those parties, theirs is a marriage made in Thatcherite heaven. Ireland would be a Thatcherite Little England, with interminable Trans Pride parades and their rhetorical blarney keeping “the workers” leashed. The vulture funds and other key stakeholders will be happy, knowing their day will come when the dykes finally burst.
And burst they must, no matter how many of our Margaret Thatchers stick their pudgy paws into the dykes. Ireland’s national debt stands at €245bn (well in excess of €110,000 for every PAYE worker) and, with astronomical personal debt levels on top of that, the Irish borrower will very much be slave to the foreign lender when our current era of low interest rates ends.
Thatcher’s Irish revolution will, however, continue. Home ownership will continue to plummet and our mortgage lending system will continue to yield the field to vulture funds. We will be returning not to the days of Thatcher, but to those of WT Cosgrave’s government, where policy choices were all but non-existent and martial law was applied to places like West Waterford to cleanse it of surplus labour. When protesters complain about their genuine grievances, McEntee, McDonald and Warfield will respond with the same iron glove that Trudeau uses in Thatcherite Canada, and Ardern uses in Thatcherite New Zealand.
But we need not go back 100 years to Cosgrave. We need only go back to the 1984 of Thatcher and of Orwell who wrote: “There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always —do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of Ireland’s future, imagine a World Economic Forum boot stamping on an Irish face— forever.”