Current Affairs Politics

Ireland’s British Apologists Find A New Cause In Brexit

One of the few positives to emerge from the Brexit debacle in the United Kingdom over the last two years has been the dismay and confusion it has sown among the British apologist clique in Ireland’s news media. Several Irish newspaper columnist and authors, veterans of the revisionist movement and the long campaign to rehabilitate the reputation of UK rule on this island nation, have found themselves in a sort of ideological fugue in recent months; temporarily nonplussed as the instinctive indifference or antipathy of their patrons to the east towards the well-being of this country has come to the fore once again. However, with the corrosiveness of Brexitism undermining the apologist claim that a homogenising veneer of West Britishness should be daubed over a distinct and separate base of Irishness, in desperation the revisionists have fallen back on the tried and tested tactics of old. It is not the British who should be blamed for the current strained relations between Dublin and London, they argue, but the inherent primitiveness of the Irish psyche and its recourse to tribalism and crude anti-British sentiment during times of stress.

Since this form of internalised racism now struggles to find a receptive airing in Ireland itself, some Irish defenders of Britain have sought intellectual refuge among the British conservative and nationalistic press, validating the belief of their Britannic mentors in the essential churlishness and rapacity of the average Hibernian. It is execrable stuff by execrable individuals whose political and cultural heyday has come and gone, but its potential for long-lasting damage is still great. The toxic half-life of hibernophobia among the inhabitants of Greater England can be measured in decades and centuries and it beggars belief that there are some individuals aiding and abetting in its dispersal who nominally claim to be of this island. Or acting in its best interests.

16 comments on “Ireland’s British Apologists Find A New Cause In Brexit

  1. Excellent coverage.

    Thank you so much for this.

    If I wanted to contribute how would I do so?

    Joe Mac Cana

  2. Sharon Douglas

    “Churlish”, “rapacity”, “execrable”…..have I told you lately how much I adore you?!!!

  3. Never underestimate the power of brainwashing to make a blithering idiot out of an otherwise intelligent educated individual.

  4. Fintan O’Toole doesn’t sound like he hates Britain or the English, but he engaging in a dangerous business: psychoanalyzing a nation. While that’s very rarely a hateful act, it can lead to some wild flights imagination which under the wrong circumstances can turn into tropes. The tropes can in turn into zombies that refuse to die even if they fail the scientific test of being theoretical falsifiable or are even questionable to obviously wrong.

    So no, the man doesn’t seem like a hater. He seems to be in danger of becoming an Irish version of WEB Dubois.

    • Maybe, but he’s not the only one to see Brexit as a manifestation of resurgent English nationalism and the country’s inability to see itself as anything other than a global great power. And I would note that English nationalism is inherently expansionist. It’s not about a “Free England” within its own borders but a Greater England across the island of Britain and its neighbours.

      O’Toole traces much of this to Scotland’s increasing detachment from the UK, though I would also add the 1998 GFA and the blow it delivered to British assumptions following the failure to militarily defeat the IRA. Which in the age of Brexit has been transformed into a magical victory through a hidden war that conveniently no one has to give any evidence for beyond the simple, “I believe it’s true therefore it is true”. Much like the assumptions of the Brexiteers.

      • Hmmm. It’s very bizarre to imagine an English Nationalism where the idea of English Parliament is getting mixed reviews at best..

        Wouldn’t any nationalism want a Government and Constitution as among the first “items on the list”? Especially if Scotland and Wales get that and they don’t.

        Trying to put myself in English shoes (obviously something I suck at), not wanting that Parliament just from the standpoint of political representation, is hard to imagine-even if I were lukewarm at best towards English nationalism.

        But that said, Fintan O’Toole goes way beyond pointing to English nationalism. When he talks about English Punk and The Sex Pistols, or British monuments of The Charge of The Light Brigade, that’s the point where you’ve crossed the line from proposing English nationalism to mass psychoanalysis.

        Especially when English people themselves don’t seem to be saying such things.

        Web Dubois has sometimes been called “The Sigmund Freud of US race relations”. That’s sort of what I meant by an Irish WEB Dubois.

      • To be clear: I’m not suggesting that English Nationalism doesn’t exist or wasn’t a factor in Brexit. What I am suggesting is:

        1) That to whatever extent English Nationalism is driving all this, it would be a peculiar nationalism to find in a people with a long history of free elections (even in a Seussian looking Constitutional Monarchy). For all the sins of the British Empire, it’s not like the English are into the whole ideal of a “strong leader”. Why it’s so uninterested in political representation becomes the million Euro (or pound) question.

        2) That when somebody like O’Toole makes the leap from highlighting English Nationalism as a likely factor, to talking about The Sex Pistols and monuments to Florence Nightingale, that enters a territory where I’d argue one needs to be careful. It gets all too easy to speculate on things that can’t easily be tested and proved or disproved. A lot of countries have seen cases where somebody goes into those kind of wild speculations, and many of their ideas become zombies that sort of outlive their original context.

  5. Seamus Mallon

    I nearly choked on my cornflakes when I read the comment by lady haw haw aka RDE, ” i keep an open mind”. Also according to lord haw haw aka EH, 99% of the Irish MSM are brit bashers and he then goes on a whinge that RTE wont let him on their programmes so he can speak the truth to his tribe. lol.

  6. Nobody takes Mr Harris seriously anymore. Ever since Jude Collins took him to the cleaners over that bet on how SF would do in the Irish General Election. Even RTE realise his days as a political pundit are long gone.

    • Just checked on EH’s age. He’s not a young man any longer.

      • None of them are and there are few enough revisionist evangelists to take up the fight when the original generation cast off this mortal coil. I can’t think of many EH or RDE successors under the age of thirty in the Irish press or among the bookish set.

  7. The English need an enemy and the Irish are a handy target to direct the Brexiters anger as they are having a Suez 1956 moment again, many of whom have zero idea about Ireland either North or South

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