The Renua Election Manifesto, Light On The Taxes, Lighter On The Irish

Renua, the right-wing “1% party”, launched its seventy-six page 2016 election manifesto yesterday under the stewardship of its leader, the conservative media darling, Lucinda Creighton. The former Fine Gael TD, who was expelled from her party for taking a principled stand against the inequities of the government’s austerity policies over the previous three years which had imposed dreadful hardships on the Irish people as whole, particularly women and children, while rewarding the perpetrators of financial criminality…Ooops! Sorry, I temporarily slid into an alternative universe there. Phew! Back again.

What I meant to say was… The former Fine Gael TD, who was expelled from her party for opposing abortion services to expectant women in situations of extreme health risk, presented the usual libertarian nonsense that we have come to expect from her fissiparous grouping over the last twelve months or so. Flat taxes, a wishy-washy policy called called “government in the sunshine” (don’t ask), lining the pockets of entrepreneurs through grants and lower costs, plus dingbat stuff about turning rural pubs into community centres. Or something.

As usual I searched through the Renua policy document to find the party’s views on Irish language rights.

And searched…

And searched…

And searched…

Finally on page seventy I found the following paragraph:

18.3 Our language, Our Heritage

With English established as the language of commerce in an increasingly globalised economic environment, our national language is at a crossroads. Either we allow it to continue its slow downward trend towards extinction, or as a nation, we collectively decide to arrest its decline and embrace the most fundamental aspect of our national identity.

We believe that the modern revival of the Welsh language provides a roadmap for a revitalisation of the Irish language. Ireland can and will rediscover the pride it has for its native tongue and the great cultural and artistic history that goes with it.

The first step on this path must be a fundamental rethinking of how we teach Irish in our schools. It is an appalling indictment of our education system that generation after generation of Irish teenagers leave school with little more than a smattering of vocabulary and grammar. To achieve real change, we must blend the traditional and immersive ‘living language’ elements of education with a renewed focus on grammar and accuracy.”

The detailed methods and mechanisms by which these laudable if rather familiar aspirations will be achieved?

Hold on, let me just search them out for you.

Hold on…

In a moment…

I have them…

Just…

Oh…

There’s nothing.

Just this lengthy blank space where one would otherwise expect some policies to be.

So…

Pretty much like every other political party and grouping in Ireland then.

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12 comments

    1. Exactly. I though that such a weighty tome would have some detail on Irish language issues but no. Same old aspirational, keep it in the education system crap. What is the point of having hundreds of thousands of fully bilingual Irish-speaking children and teenagers if they can’t actually use the language anywhere outside of a classroom because everything in society is purposefully defaulted to English, and Irish is actively discouraged? It’s complete madness. They might as well burn a sixth of the education budget each year in a bonfire.

      1. But what could you do if even the people who are ready to kill in the name of united Ireland (IRA bombers) don’t want to speak Irish?
        If they don’t want to do it then what can you expect from an average Irishman that would be called a “west Brit” by the aforementioned bomber?

        1. An argument I have made myself. There are, maybe, 200 hundred active “Dissidents” or less out of a wider like-minded community of several thousand activists/sympathisers/members (if you include a whole range of organisations like RSF, RNU, 32CSM, éirígí, 1916 Societies, and so on). If these folk put as much effort into aggressively speaking Irish and demanding Irish language services as they do into planning an “insurgency” against the British occupation it would advance the language by decades.

  1. What “Welsh Revival”? The Welsh, greatly to their credit I have to say, have just about halted the decline of their language. And that against tremendous odds. A revival may be the eventual outcome, but be wary of folk who count their chickens before they’ve even hatched. Irish is in a much more delicate state of touch and go. As for Gàidhlig, see :

    http://danamag.org/cait-am-bi-a-ghaidhlig/

    1. At the risk of going a little OT, here’s a translation of the final passage from the link above, which I imagine is perhaps even more relevant in the Irish situation :

      “And in passing, if we consider the traditional Gaelic community as a linguistic resource for language teaching and development (for it is certainly that, amongst other things), it won’t be long before that resource is gone. The language needs to be used in ways that are far more wide ranging than at present. If there is to be a future for Gaelic which in any way resembles its present, then I would say that it’s really important to make links between the traditional community in the Gaelic-speaking areas and the new learners in the anglicised regions. But that’s just an aside.”

  2. To revitalise the Irish language – the Irish people would have to make it the central part of their identity. They should think of it as something valuable that belongs to them instead of a boring school subject that’s imposed upon them.
    How exactly to make it so – I don’t know, because as I said before – even some very nationalistic and patriotic people who are ready to die and kill for Ireland don’t think that the Irish language belongs to them, because they speak only English and don’t make the effort to learn any other languages.
    So nationalistic brainwashing will probably not going to work. “In order to be a real Irishman you’re not required to speak Irish” is a very widespread and accepted way of thinking in Ireland.
    But in Latvia people who don’t speak Latvian are not accepted as real Latvians at all. I guess that’s a big reason why Latvian is a living language, but Irish is about to die off.

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