A short but very sobering post from WorldByStorm over at the Cedar Lounge Revolution:
“Reading that the unemployment rate is still increasing and is currently just shy of 15 per cent, at 14.8 per cent…
…in 1986 it peaked at 17 per cent [ASF: an all-time high]. Disturbing to think we’re just two points less than that now.”
As WBS and others point out in the post, that first figure is in fact quite a misleading one (and conveniently so for the powers that be). The true level of unemployment in Ireland is far higher than 14.8%. That percentage does not include the thousands of unemployed citizens going through various (and optimistically named) back-to-work or training schemes. Nor, by definition, does it include the tens of thousands of unemployed citizens forced to emigrate and so no longer here to be counted (having become another form of statistic).
Taking into account the hidden or absentee unemployed it is certainly arguable that Ireland’s true levels of unemployment have already reached 16%, and rising. And there is no sign of that figure going down. On the contrary, given the doctrinaire adherence of both halves of the Fine Oibre coalition to the ideological beliefs that created the financial crisis in the first place one can only expect things to get worse. Indeed the desperation of the various factions that make up the Golden Circle to maintain their positions of status and privilege knows no bounds. As I wrote here several weeks ago on their new-found enthusiasm for the anti-democratic dictatorship of the Peoples Republic of China:
“The Irish political classes. What a work of man they are. Throughout the 19th century they clung parasite-like to the tail of Imperial Britain, accepting of any humiliation, any degradation, so long as they could line their own pockets, enriching themselves, their families and friends. It all began with Daniel O’Connell, the “Emancipator” himself. A revered figure of Irish Nationalism? The man who corrupted Irish nationalist politics irredeemably while pursuing more power and opportunities to acquire wealth and respectability for his class and “reform” of British colonial rule in Ireland – while not actually wishing to bring it to an end. The man who defended the British system of landlordism in Ireland, who served as an officer in the British Forces when the Irish people took up arms to free themselves in 1798 and 1803, who co-operated in the destruction of the Irish language and culture, who defended the virtual enslavement of Irish children in factories and businesses…
The list goes on and on.
Those political descendants who followed them are cut from the same tarnished cloth. Wrapped in the cover of the Green Flag they have pursued their own sectional interests while using the Irish people as their playthings, beasts of burden to be exploited when need be, wayward savage beasts with which to threaten when things did not go their own way. Corrupt and corruptible their sway ran throughout the 1800s and into the early 20th century until a revolutionary upheaval threw them to one side. But it was not to last. Slowly but surely they snaked their way back into power, the instigators of a civil war where they waded through Irish blood to retake the governance of the Irish people (and not for the first time). Eventually they found another foreign political class and institution to sell out to, a quasi-imperial teat to suckle upon. The European Union gave them a new home, a new source of corruption and sycophancy.
Yet that too wasn’t to last. Always looking for more, the next big make, they sought out international corporations, international finance, anything to fulfil their insatiable lust for more. And now to this.
The Dragon in the East rising above the horizon. But there will be no knights errant riding out to confront the all-devouring worm but greedy village elders ready to sacrifice their young to feed its insatiable hunger in the hope of stealing their own share of the dragon’s gold.”
So instead of that old cliché of the Golden Circle perhaps what we have instead at the highest levels of Irish society is in fact a virtual state-within-a-state. It may be outwardly divided amongst various sectional interests but the ultimate loyalty of all involved is to this Inner State and its continued existence. At any cost.
- So You Think You Know What It Means To Be Irish? Think Again… (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Gay Rights And Gael Rights. Facing Down The Bigots (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Life As Usual In The Westie Independent (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Minding Your Language In Derry (ansionnachfionn.com)
- When No Means No (ansionnachfionn.com)
- “An Hobad” – The First Publication In Irish Of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Institutional Discrimination In The Irish State – The Culture Of An “Anglophone Stormont” (ansionnachfionn.com)
- The Dragon In The East (ansionnachfionn.com)
- The Myths Of Easter 1916 – And The Truth (ansionnachfionn.com)
- Irish dodge debts through UK ‘bankruptcy tourism’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Why isn’t unemployment the biggest problem we feel we should solve as a society? (stephenkinsella.net)
- Why rumours of Sinn Fein’s omnipotence may be being greatly exaggerated… (sluggerotoole.com)
John Tenniel, famous for illustrating Lewis Carroll’s works, drew that cartoon.
Is that the Tenniel initials in the lower right corner? I never noticed. Thanks for that, Michael. I must write something about the Mister Punch style of portraying Irish people in the 19th and early 20th century British media and culture some day. Lots of well-known illustrators made a living in the English press at the time. Might be interesting. Paddy and Mr Punch and all that.