“The real point is that all this doesn’t matter a fiddler’s fart on the Cliffs of Moher to the country’s real problems.” – Breandán Ó hEithir
As the prospect of war grips most European cabinets, France teeters, and populist governments make tentative breaks with the liberal world order, Leinster House has been bogged down with an all too provincial scandal of state.
Centred on a dodgy land purchase by the wife of Limerick TD Niall Collins, the saga has been utilised by Shinner media outfit On The Ditch to kick sand into the eyes of the moribund Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael duopoly.
Unsurprisingly, the issue sucked oxygen out of Irsh politics all of last week, with legal letters no doubt being fired faster than projectiles out of Bakhmut behind the scenes.
Supporters of the ship of state point to the Collins dispute as an irrelevant gotcha by partisan hacks, while the Sinn Féin-Left alliance uses it as evidence of a grungy gombeen conspiracy intent on seeing half the nation on the emigration boat just to maintain an artificially expensive rental market.
The Ruskies even made an appearance with a hit piece tarring On The Ditch as a Russian front, a sign that the magazine has really got under the skin of some.
A battle between Shinnerbots and centrist Derek dads over a comb to brush the Irish State’s bald head, such rancour belies the actual reality of Saorstát Éireann in 2023.
As far as real politics is concerned, the rotting townhouse known as Leinster House exists as a relic to reassure the Irish of residual autonomy before it becomes feasible to mothball the entire island into a ‘Shared Ireland’ travesty under the NATO security umbrella.
If the state has a legislative agenda it is to rubber stamp one already manufactured in Brussels or at the WEF, with whole departments being retrofitted to facilitate the decarbonisation and mass immigration agenda.
Collins, as with most Oireachtas members, exists as an over-glorified parish fixer, catapulted to the national stage and with as much political vision as the TG4 weather girl. A replaceable suit, the Collins archetype has filled the void in lieu of a truly national politics.
The government may take comfort in the fact that their opponents at On The Ditch, in the form of joke populists like Paddy Cosgrave, while cackling today will splinter into a million contrarian pieces upon contact with actual power.
Cosgrave and friends agree with the status quo on about 80% of policies (immigration, Euro-federalism, covid and climate mania, etc.) but with tepid but increasingly self-assured rise of right-wing populism a greater existential threat to our current regime.
Other than vague mentions of cronyism, there is no solid platform for populism behind Cosgrave et al, with his deplatforming of Le Pen indicative of his alignment with progressive values regardless.
Cosgrave belongs to a puerile school of thought that actually believes the propaganda line that Ireland is a gombeen republic run by racist white men. Not entirely excusing the role gombeen politics plays in binding Ireland to globalism, it ignores the value systems, transnational bodies and backroom NGO complex that actually governs this country in favour of leftist clichés…
“Direct Provision is perpetuated by structural racism… the rise of the far right somehow somehow empowers the government etc”
Presumably angling for a position in the looming Sinn Féin clientalist bonanza that is expected when Mary Lou gets to decide who gets onto what state board, Cosgrave for the Irish Right is to be welcomed as a useful idiot, one actively loosening the political grip of the fading neoliberal era with potshots like the Collins exposé.
Skimming a house on the side would be the least offensive thing Niall Collins has even done to the Irish nation. A parochial functionary the fixation on a measly gaff ignores the elephantine scale of mismanagement we have seen the past five years alone from covid etc with the fundamentals of liberal rule in Ireland remaining so far unchallenged.
Irish politics has as much dynamism now as the day Strongbow stepped onto dry land, with this low scale politics producing many MacMurroughs to potentially subdue our national unity. This week’s faction fighting is a depressing indictment to those who envision a greater Ireland, not one that is on a downward trajectory of petty squabbles as the world marches on.
Be grateful that we are one week closer to finally being rid of the zombie FF-FG alliance that has governed (formally at least) since 2016, though one week further in not realising the goal of a genuine Irish nation state.
The unloved amalgamate of FF-FG coalitions with any luck is about to break, and what emerges from the ensuing turmoil is anyone’s guess. On The Ditch has gotten the ball going on regime change in Ireland, but one suspects they may not like what comes next.