Current Affairs Politics

Irexit. The Irish Fifth Column For Brexiteers And Racists

Since the start of 2018 An Sionnach Fionn has published a number of articles examining the ongoing campaign by far-right and revanchist elements of the Brexit movement in the United Kingdom to extend their influence to Ireland. The primary intention of these individuals and groups is to undermine Irish popular support for the Backstop Protocol or the clause in the draft international treaty between the European Union and the UK protecting the peace settlement established under the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. A clause many Brexiteers blame for Britain’s inability to exit the EU without fulfilling its legal and financial obligations to its former partners.

Over the last eighteen months the British extremists and their local proxies have sought to encourage anti-European sentiment in Ireland by fostering the same kind of politicised racism and xenophobia in this country that they have successfully promoted in their own since the late 1980s, culminating in the highly charged Brexit referendum of 2016. This, in part, explains the establishment of the so-called Irexit Freedom Party, a transparent Brexiteer Fifth Column with clear links to figures involved in the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), the breakaway Brexit Party (BP) and other anti-EU groupings in London. This has been explored in some detail by this posting on Medium, “British Far Right Extremism Manipulating Ireland“, and I’d highly recommend a read.

23 comments on “Irexit. The Irish Fifth Column For Brexiteers And Racists

  1. The communist party in Ireland as well. Very much in step with their British comrades as is their right but the conspiracy theorist may wonder is a hard brexit the mi5 choice.

  2. You know, I believe that a lot of right wing movement these days are out to be as offensive to “the liberals”, “the left” or mainstream society. I don’t know how to measure this in a country like Ireland, but seeing how Peter Casey got some support for his Trump-like bombast it’s not unreasonable to say there’s some percentage of Irish people who are voting the way they do in order to “flip a finger” to the rest of society-I believe that many of Trump supporters ad Doug Ford (Canada’s Trump) supporters are like this.

    For example some Trump supporters LOVE him, because he is so offensive-not the least to many people’s ideas of how a POTUS is supposed to present and act in public.

    And in Ireland what could be more offensive to liberals and most of the public, than wanting to just do whatever Britain wants.

    In short could it be that some people in Ireland who support this garbage might just want to “flip a finger” at the whole premise of an independent Irish Republic, as mattering at all or being worth the paper it’s Constitution is printed on?

    • Maybe… The Irexit fringe is a weird mix of social conservatives, rosary bead rattlers, faith and fatherland nationalists, alt-unionits, British commonwealthers, and various other non-conformists. So it could be that contrarian thing. But post-colonial stuff is at play too. Most of the Irexit crowd look to Britain for direction and their talking points are British-shaped and influenced.

      • Two terms I’ve heard for people who are voting for somebody as almost an act of hostility towards society: Nihilistic Glee and Suicide Nihilists.

        Part of their game is they portray themselves in such a manner that you just can’t reason with them. Secondly the more their opponents find something gross, offensive, or best yet if such a policy or leader would make their opponents despair.

        If this sickness has reached Ireland, it could be that the obdurate insistence on “following Britain in all things” and the racist statements may be calculated to demoralize YOU or even a simplified charicature of people like you.

        • True Grace, but in a way a lot of this stuff predates Trump.The economic crisis of the last ten years certainly gave the politics you correctly describe a lot of momentum but just as the Tea Party sort of was John the Baptist to Trump’s…er… Jesus, so we’ve had similar stuff this side of the Atlantic. In the 2000s we had Libertas here which was a not dissimilar concoction. The interesting thing for me is how rhetoric that would have been unthinkable in the broader political sphere is now, if not accepted, at least aired. The big question is where matters go from here. Is it an aberration or is it here to stay. I’ve mixed views on that.

          • I don’t know what to do with this problem either. My sense is that it is a global epidemic that varies in degree and in how it manifests in not just different countries but also different political stripes and demographics within some nations.

            I honestly don’t know how to reverse it. Sometimes it seems like these folks are just going to keep pushing the envelope until nothing is shocking (or wrong) anymore.

      • john cronin

        The Moslems ARE the far right. It is not Tommy Robinson who is blowing up tube trains, chopping peoples heads off, committing female genital mutilation or murdering cartoonists. Ultimately they’ll have to be ethnically cleansed.

  3. The far right have made no inroads in Ireland.

    • Thankfully so, but that has not stopped UK-based groups from pushing their agenda here through Irish proxies.

      • FG are actually far enough right for the Irish electorate. Too far right never caught on.

      • The Irish history of the 1930’s proved that Right wing Fascism was never a popular movement in Ireland despite the like of the Blue Shirts and Duffy. There is a difference between Conservative and Right Wing hard line Fascism. The Irish were a conquered people not a conquering nation from which Fascism originated , Spain, Italy, Germany etc.

        • It is not unheard of for post-colonial and even horribly oppressed countries to end up with a dictator. Look a Papa Doc and Baby Doc (dumbest name for a tyrant of all time) or the Duvalier father and son in Haiti. That poor country took a horrible beating historically yet ended up with a dictator.

          The South American, Caribbean, and Central American experience suggest to anyone that simply having a history of being colonized is not a foolproof immunization against fascists, tyrants, and dictators. Look at countries like Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, Cuba, and El Salvador. All countries that got kicked around and faced colonialism yet ended up with fascist governments that did horrific things.

          Russia despite being an aggressor has a history of being attacked and invaded, as well as having tyrants, as does China.

          While Communist Vietnam, The Taliban, ISIS, Khmer Rouge, and The Ayatollah are not by any correct definition fascists, I wouldn’t get too comfortable over the difference in between classical fascism and what these countries with horrible histories of colonialism ended up with.

          As for Italy as an aggressor country? Well you’d have to dig back about 1500 years before Mussolini for that to work terribly well.

          If Ireland is in fact, relatively resistant to fascism, it still wouldn’t be in your best interests to either attribute that 100% to colonialism…..or worse, get too comfortable in the idea that this constitutes perfect immunity.

    • Seán Quill

      That’s been true so far, and if you stick to a rigid definition of far-right it’s likely to remain true. However, peruse certain media platforms and you’ll see there are various right-wing tendencies that have been latent until recently now being mined in Ireland.
      There’s your casual anti-immigrant view that floods thejournal.ie comments sections, radio phone-in shows, and the facebook pages of local media.
      Also increasingly notable, are disgruntled anti-repeal activists.
      Some sections of the left found themselves on the same side as people like Kathy Sinnott during the Lisbon campaign, but with support for Lexit not being vocalised much in Ireland right now, they seem to be avoiding letting that happen again.
      Then you have the anti-establishment libertarian sentiment that helped seed the water protests, and has been influenced by the Freeman of the Land movement (Ben Gilroy and Direct Democracy Ireland could be included here).
      Also anti-establishment and mistrustful of the mainstream are those who are anti-vaxxers, anti-fluoride, anti-5G, possibly anti-windfarm. There’s a weird intersection here between people who’d probably be labelled as hippies and be left-wing in other respects, and would have regard for the eco-warriors of the 90s and 2000s; and climate-change deniers that are prone to gobbling up whatever Jim Corr’s having.
      Then you have plain old hardcore Catholics and of course your actual camo-wearing, dictator-admiring fash.
      There’s going to be lots of crossover in the above strands but there’s one Irish person who’s shamelessly tying them all together in hopes of getting a Euro seat in Dublin an we all know who that f****r is.
      PC seems likely to join her in throwing caution to the wind. Here’s hoping people see through their desperation.

      • Pat Murphy

        Wouldn’t it just be great if we didn’t have any f****rs with different opinions to ours. Then everybody would know we are right all the time.

      • I walked through the border town of (redacted) today and heard more Russian, Polish and Latvian than English. Somethings gotta give.

  4. Seamus is(supposedly) all for the preservation and promotion of the Irish language and Irish culture but at the same time he vehemently supports open borders and never ending mass immigration. He then calls people who advocate resisting this new plantation racists. Go figure.

    From the Irish Times 2005, such an article wouldn’t be published today:

    “Ireland’s native population could be in a minority by the middle of this century, the president of Dublin City University (DCU) will claim today. But large-scale immigration is still essential if we are to remain prosperous, Prof Ferdinand von Prondzynski will say.
    Unpublished UK-based research, which he does not identify, has indicated that by 2050, Ireland’s population will consist of a multicultural and multiethnic mix in which the indigenous Irish will form a minority.”

    • It’s easy enough to judge the Irexit camp by looking at those associated with it and those promoting it. An unholy alliance of neo-unionists and Hibernian nationalists among other malcontents and various fruitloops. How many of the fringe Irexiteers are pushing for Ireland to join the UK in some sort of de facto British Isles Union rather than the European Union? And how many more are pushing “white nationalist” rhetoric behind the curtain of “classical liberal” or “anti-identitarian” arguments?

      • Yes, yes, Seamus, racists, bigots blah, blah, blah. Why don’t you address what I said in my post? If immigration continues at the same levels in this country, we the native Irish will eventually become a minority. Do you think people of different religious and cultural backgrounds will be bothered with preserving and growing the Irish language and culture? Are you or are not supportive of the Irish language and culture experiencing a renewal? Your blog would suggest that you are, yet you choose to ignore this great threat to that goal and indeed are only too willing to completely dismiss those who raise their concerns about this issue. Why is that? Look at N. Ireland, still great problems after hundreds of years and that is between two tribes of white Christian Europeans. I have to say your attitude to this subject calls into question your sincerity about much of what you write on this blog.

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