Current Affairs Politics

The Attacks On Australian Greens Politician Lidia Thorpe By The Australian Press

Australia’s version of the Daily Mail, which is every bit as reactionary as its counterpart in Britain, has published a typically over the top report attacking the Australian Greens’ politician Lidia Thorpe. The reason for its outrage? The decision by the Aboriginal campaigner to take up her seat in Australia’s federal upper legislature.

An incoming senator who doesn’t identify as Australian has been slammed for backtracking and declaring she will swear allegiance to the Queen to collect a $211,250 salary.

Lidia Thorpe, who lost her seat at the [regional] 2018 Victorian election after only a year as a state MP, has been chosen by the Greens party faithful to replace former leader Richard Di Natale in federal Parliament in August.

She defeated prominent Queen’s counsel barrister Julian Burnside in a ballot of Greens members to fill a casual vacancy to be a senator for Victoria…

Ms Thorpe has hit back at her critics accusing her of hypocrisy, pointing out white politicians who favoured a republic over a constitutional monarchy, like former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, weren’t unfairly labelled as hypocrites when they swore allegiance to the Queen.

‘I don’t identify as being Australian. It’s a concept that’s been imposed on our people since we’re invaded,’ she told the Almost Australian documentary, which aired last month on the ABC.

‘I swore allegiance to the Queen when I became MP for Northcote, and I’ll do it again in Canberra in August,’ she said.

Michael Atkinson, a former Labor attorney-general of South Australia, suggested she follow the example of UK MPs from Northern Ireland who refuse to swear allegiance to the Queen because they are from the Irish Republican political party Sinn Fein, denying them the chance to vote in the House of Commons.

‘A principled way forward for new Victorian Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe is to refuse, like Sinn Fein, to take the oath of allegiance to Her Majesty and abstain from the Chamber,’ he tweeted.

Former Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger suggested swearing an oath of allegiance to the Queen, after declaring she didn’t identify as an Australian, would make Thorpe a hypocrite.

‘The Greens say that they’re true to their principles, this is the thing the Greens are founded on, this freakish, nutty sort of caveman and woman view of the world,’ he told Sky News…

As is clear from even the short extracts above, the repetitive article is filled with the sort of dog whistle prejudice that is such a feature of Australian society when it comes to its indigenous peoples. And using terms like “caveman and woman” in a comment on a Greens’ representative of Aboriginal ancestry is tone deaf to say the least. But as the independent journalist publication Crikey points out, these attacks seems to be part of a coordinated media campaign against Thorpe.

…last week, The Herald Sun reported that new Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe had said a new name could be considered for Victoria:

‘Anything that’s named after someone who’s caused harm or murdered people, then I think we should take their name down,’ she said.

Except, as Thorpe pointed out, this was not some bold platform she was using to convince freedom-hating greenies in the leftie people’s feelocracy of Victoria to elect her as Richard Di Natale’s replacement.

She’d simply been called by Herald Sun reporters and asked her opinion.

Nevertheless, the article, grounded in Thorpe’s apparent suggestion, allowed the state Labor and Liberal leaders to caterwaul about how they’d never heard such a stupid idea.

Of course, none of this will be unfamiliar to anyone who has read our ongoing “Holy War” series. Once News Corp spots an ideological enemy, there is no development, no angle on them, that will be left unexplored. And as this example shows, it billows out into the rest of the media, until it passes for an actual national discourse.

Thorpe is an Indigenous woman from Victoria representing the Greens, a combination of words that News Corp editors wake up screaming after their worst sleep paralysis. So don’t expect this to be the last of it.

The political situation in Australia is very different from that in Britain’s legacy colony on this island and the Australian Greens are not Sinn Féin or even the SDLP. Furthermore, not only did Lidia Thorpe swear a legally required oath of fealty to the British head of state when she entered the regional Victorian Legislative Assembly in 2017, she is legally obliged to do the same again to enter the federal Senate in Canberra. One suspects that this press-generated furore has very little to do with the politics of the Gunnai-Gunditjmara activist and everything to do with her identity.

30 comments on “The Attacks On Australian Greens Politician Lidia Thorpe By The Australian Press

  1. Sully of Tuross Head.

    The Murdoch Media Maggots here in Australia are a millstone around the neck of Australian democracy, lickspittle, Conservative propagandists all!

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    • The Murdochs are a millstone around the neck of democracy everywhere they operate, Sully – Fox News in the US, the Sun in the UK etc. They’re more powerful than governments, in the sense that they are able to cast govs in their own image.
      This little prick and his offspring have an awful lot to answer for.

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  2. Deeply, deeply depressing.

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  3. gendjinn

    This is upsetting and depressing and it is far from isolated. Australia’s racism is right out there and in your face. If a country’s racism were architecture, I feel Australia’s would be Brutalist.

    In my lifetime I have seen the domination of the right wing in US through control of the Boomer generation age away and crumble in the face of the numbers of Millennials and now Zoomers that are aging in and joining the Left. A Left an Irish person would consider Left.

    You can see the same happening throughout the Western Bloc – Europe/America/Anzac. It is going to feel like it is getting worse as we see more of what has been going on and discuss it deeper. But that is because we are engaging. And that engagement means it is coming to an end. Ignore, Ridicule, Fight, Victory.

    Now we have a pandemic and economic downturn assisting us? Now is the time to seize the opportunity for dramatic change.

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    • I think the Guardian or some other publication recently had an article confidently predicting the fall of isolationism and reactionary nationalism in favour of further globalisation and cosmopolitan integration as a result of Covid-19 and I thought to myself, what fecking planet have you been on?! Things are only gonna get better, so to speak, for those who like their nationalism without internationalism. Pearse and Connolly were internationalist nationalists. We need more their kind and less of the stay-at-home and close-the-curtains Trumpists.

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      • Pearse was an “internationalist nationalist”? Where on earth do you get that from, ASF? There is not the slightest evidence to suggest that his nationalism wasn’t of the narrow-minded, elitist variety and an awful lot to suggest that’s exactly what it was.

        Connolly being primarily a socialist (communist?) was a different kettle of fish, altogether. He was avidly internationalist. In fact, I would hesitate to describe Connolly as a nationalist, at all. Irish freedom was a natural extension of his political beliefs, rather than the sum total of them.
        I suspect Connolly would have laughed at the absolute contradiction, both in terms and in everyday realities, of the description “internationalist nationalist”.

        I’m reminded of an old adage (I paraphrase): “A patriot loves his country, whereas a nationalist hates everyone else’s.”

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        • Unfortunately there is the real flesh and blood Pearse and the Pearse of “good” and “bad” myth. Have you read his writing or the accounts of his contemporaries? They are filled with international concerns, from Russia to Belgium, Poland to Hungary, touching on education, politics, economics, etc.

          Pearse is the original modern anti-colonialist. Long before it became fashionable. He was of the Victorian generation that today would find its expression in #BLM and so on. Antiestablishment, anti status quo, radical, young and eager for change.

          As for narrow nationalism. His father was English, his siblings half-English, his half-siblings wholly English, he had an English accent in his youth and a clipped English tone in his voice for the rest of his short life, loved his English cousins and visiting England.

          His contemporary literary interests were all European and of the latest trends and genres.

          Elitist? He set up a school with a bursary for children from poorer families and where pupil and teacher were in a “democracy”. He did the same helping to set up a girls school. He helped the poorest families in the West to find education or jobs for family members.

          Honestly, try the biography “Patrick Pearse” by Joost Augusteijn or the mixed essays in “The Life and After-life of P.H. Pearse: Pádraic Mac Piarais: Saol Agus Oidhreacht” or even Pearse’s own words in his letters and articles.

          Narrow nationalist he was not.

          Liked by 1 person

      • gendjinn

        This is my favourite formulation of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy.

        The 1916 Rising was international nationalism. Future presidents of India and Israel fought and were in jail alongside the leaders, unsure if they too would be executed. Rebels and dissidents from all over the empire came to the empire’s second capital. to study There’s a book there.

        The Guardian, has to be taken with a long spoon and a dose of salt. Since Assange MI5 has brought them to heel. Their participation in the anti-semitism smears to defeat Labour destroys any trust or credibility they have.

        I am not a fan of Nationalism. In the context of empire, Nationalism is an effective and progressive tool in the anti-colonial struggle. However, once that struggle is conclude, Nationalism leads to Fascism. I’m more of a Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot is who we are and what we need to be taking care of type of gobshite.

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        • There’s a world of difference between “international nationalism” (which I take to mean co-operation between actors from different states seeking to shake off the shackles of colonialism and gain their independence) and an “internationalist nationalist” (a complete contradiction in terms on both the abstract and practical levels) as ASF would have us believe Pearse was.

          Like you, I dislike and fear any kind of nationalism, “the midwife of fascism”. Speak to any nationalist, no matter where they’re from, even if they’re on opposite sides of a political debate, and they all sound remarkably similar.
          As a means to an end, nationalism can be a useful tool – an anti-colonial rallying point – but beyond that it is an elitist, exceptionalist poison. The problem is, once out of the bottle, nationalism takes on a life of its own and is extremely hard to put back in the bottle.

          It’s hardly surprising that people, once proud to declare as nationalists, are now seeking to distance themselves and their heroes from nationalism, as they look around the world – from Trump to Erdogan, Putin to Johnson – at what nationalism really means.

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          • gendjinn

            Tamam,

            Do you read many history books in a year? Because you repeatedly project present day attitudes, behaviours and mores on the past, erroneously so.

            The anti-imperial nationalism of the 19th and early 20th centuries was exactly the internationalist nationalism that you deny exists. This is not even mildly controversial.

            So again I ask you, do you read many history books in a year?

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            • Oh gendjinn, you really are too much. Still smarting over the uncle business, are we? 😂

              Instead of skim reading what people write looking for an excuse to vaunt (what you appear to believe to be) a superior learning, you should try reading what I ACTUALLY wrote. I didn’t deny that international nationalism existed. Far from it. In fact, I deliberately differentiated between “international nationalism” and the nonsensical idea of an “internationalist nationalist”, which ASF claimed Pearse to be. For such a self-styled intellectual you do tend to miss the point or misread quite often.

              “Because you repeatedly project present day attitudes, behaviours and mores on the past, erroneously so.”
              This is a bullshit accusation, and indeed leads me to believe this is more about you still smarting about the fool you made of yourself with the uncle business. (That is, I was supposed to take at face value a ridiculous claim made by a pseudonymous contributor to a website. The pseudonymous contributor’s only support for the claim being that an unnamed, supposedly highly-placed uncle told him/her so. Refusing to take this incredible claim at face value had ME accused of being irrational. Christ, you couldn’t make it up. 😂)

              Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I would caution you to be careful about takIng the historian’s maxim of not judging the past by today’s standards too far. Else you end up all but excusing slavery, genocide, and all manner of war crimes on the dubious basis of “well, things were different then”. Let’s hope you’re at least smart enough to avoid that pitfall.

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              • gendjinn

                What do you call a member of Internationalist Nationalism but an Internationalist Nationalist? It is a puzzling nomenclature differentiation to assert and defend to the death.

                Interesting you revisit my uncle. Because I thought your insistence you were more familiar with my relative than I was a curious tell. Do often know people you’ve never met better than their relatives?

                It matters little to me whether or not you believe I have such a relative. I have previously pointed out the issue with the Don Tidy kidnapping deaths of GS and Army, that they were killed by the GS and not the IRA, which I heard from him at the time. That will eventually come out when the inquest is held – it hasn’t because when it is held it will reveal the calibre of the ammunition that killed the GS/IA and it does not match up to the IRA’s weapons.

                So how many books a year is it?

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              • Okay, let me walk you through it. Pay attention now.

                People struggling to end colonialism and take control of their own affairs will, as a matter of course, appeal to nationalist sentiment amongst their fellow citizens to build support at home. In fact, it’s probably the only way to build sufficient local support. So to all intents and purposes these people (let’s call them freedom fighters) are nationalist. That’s not to say all of them will remain narrowly nationalist in their politics and outlook if/when freedom is achieved. During the struggle for freedom, narrow nationalism is the glue that holds otherwise disparate groups together, so other wider views are (voluntarily) suppressed for the greater good. Think Pearse (narrow nationalist) and Connelly (internationalist) as prime examples.
                The same freedom fighters will seek to build international support and alliances for their struggle, especially with groups/nations that are (or have previously been) engaged in a similar struggle. In this sense, the freedom fighters could simultaneously be described as internationalist.

                However, as mentioned earlier, other than them striving together for the common goal of driving out the colonists, freedom fighters are invariably made up of disparate groups. They always split apart soon after winning freedom. Some will remain narrowly nationalist after freedom is achieved, others will remain internationalist in their politics and outlook.
                Not surprising, as the coming together of the two diametrically opposed concepts of nationalism and internationalism could only ever be a momentary thing, a marriage of convenience that falls apart as soon as the common goal is achieved.
                There is not, and cannot be, such a thing as a GENUINE internationalist nationalist. It is a contradiction both in theoretical and practical terms.

                “Interesting you revisit my uncle. Because I thought your insistence you were more familiar with my relative than I was a curious tell. Do often know people you’ve never met better than their relatives?”
                This is nonsense. You really do have to read my replies properly. I didn’t pretend to know your uncle. I was simply quoting you. In fact, I don’t even know if you have an uncle, or whether he was an invention to try to win an argument.

                “So how many books a year is it?”
                gendjinn, grow up mate. Next you’ll be claiming your Da is bigger than my Da. 😂

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              • gendjinn

                I agree with your analysis but differ on your conclusion and your assessment of Pearse. He was not the narrow nationalist you think he was.

                I take it that in the context of an anti-imperial struggle the nationalist is participating in an international struggle that is revolutionary, progressive and liberating. However, as you point out the seeds of its doom are within its own ranks as there are also reactionaries that once the anti-imperial struggle is over now become the counter-revolution. Usually those differences are suppressed during the struggle and both sides are unified, you see the cracks in the Republican courts of the Irish War of Independence and the Spanish Civil War.

                But I think here we have different perspectives on to do is to be and to be is to do, that is perhaps fundamentally irreconcilable. We don’t have to agree on this, perfectly natural that two different people, with two different sets of knowledge, value systems and perspectives would look at the same situation and come to different conclusions. We don’t have to agree, but it is useful to appreciate how both of us get from our starting positions to our conclusions.

                Look, I am some random guy on the internet. I am not insulting you, judging you, sneering at you, condescending to you. You should certainly take everything I say with a grain of salt, and sure I could be a Walter Mitty type making shit up. But I do not care about “winning an argument”, I care about learning, about getting to the truth and from that basis try make it better. What is the point? It’s just masturbatory.

                The only reason I ask about books is because I am curious where you get your information. I read books, journal articles and watch documentaries. My knowledge of the world and analysis is only as good as the information I put in and the reasoning I apply. I only feel as confident on a topic as I do feel up to date on the current literature. If you aren’t doing something similar, shouldn’t you be less confident in your perspective & analysis, be more open to seeing if others might be right.

                Ireland is a small place. Dublin even more so. Tell you what, you can actually go look this up. It’s all publicly available information. Go do some research, I’ve given you enough to get you started. When you think you have a candidate ping me and we can chat. There’s a link to Cabra, the German bombing of Dublin during WWII, The Scandal of the Dollhouse and an anecdote about where the Irish FM was when they got word 9/11 had happened, who they were on their way to meet and what happened next.

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              • Hi gendjinn
                Many thanks for your latest post.
                Apologies for my own sometimes aggressive and combative posts, and for the sneery comments I’ve sometimes directed your way.

                I agree wholeheartedly with what you say. We don’t have to agree, but let’s at least explore one another’s opinions and, more importantly, how each of us arrived at them.

                As to how I arrived at my beliefs (which are far more fluid than I make them sound). Like yourself, I’ve been a voracious reader, since early childhood in my case, my main interests being mostly biographies and historical stuff – mostly on Britain, Ireland, the US, Europe, Africa, the Ottoman Empire. Also, again like yourself, I consume documentaries, articles etc.
                I love art, too. I know absolutely fuck all about it, in any technical sense, but I do know what I like when I see it. I find some of work of the impressionists deeply moving – I couldn’t for the life of me explain why, but they just do.

                I’ve also lived and worked in numerous countries around the world, which in hindsight I think is imperative to gaining valuable perspective. I think the everyday experience of living and working with other cultures, ethnicities, religious beliefs, seeing the world through their eyes (and experiencing their many casual kindnesses) gives you an armour against lazy, narrow-minded bigotry.

                At the instigation of yourself and ASF, I promise to take another (this time deeper and more extended) look at Pearse.

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            • gendjinn

              A kindred spirit. The Chicago Art Institute impressionist painting collection is a rival to Paris. If you ever get a chance to visit check out Monet’s Le Petite Creuse, I used to sit for an hour just staring at it and it’s one that is missed in many of the Monet books.

              There was a time I would have responded in kind, if not been the one to initiate the serve. It’s taken almost 15 years of individual therapy and 5 of couples over the past 20 to decommission those defenses. During that time I have come to realise how few of us actually have a healthy childhood. In myself the sensitivity to insult, the quick insulting response or put down were some of the symptoms that evaporated during my work. My parents never had a chance, the cards dealt them were far too heavy a burden for any child to bear. They did the best they could, but they were unable to do anything but add their link to the chain.

              outofthefog.website is a great resource, as is the raised by narcissists subreddit – their best of collection is great. Pete Walker’s book on cPTSD is the users manual.

              I see a straight line from James C Scott’s book Against the Grain through to Wilhelm Reich’s Mass Psychology of Fascism as criticisms of civilization and the nuclear family. Correctly identifying the fundamental problems with the systems of our societies: You can’t convert humans into genocidal Settler Colonists without the traumatizing childhood. Nor burn the biosphere to the ground with CO2.

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    • I couldn’t agree more. These are deeply depressing and very scary times, but I firmly believe there are solid grounds for optimism, for the reasons you allude to.

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      • gendjinn

        Cheers. At least I’m not the only one who sees the glimmers of hope in the darkest of times.

        It is going to be a very close run thing and the next decade is crucial. But this Pandemic has given us a Lagrange point about which we can more easily pivot society onto a healthier track. It would be a terrible shame to waste it. Let Wat Tyler be our example.

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  4. One question this raises: Are the Australian Greens Republicans?

    Since many of their ancestors were sent down as prison transports and they don’t have to contend with the question of “What to do with” The Royal Family that British Republicans get asked…….I’m surprised that they haven’t yet become a Republic. Or at least downgraded to from Commonwealth Realms to regular Commonwealth. The fact only two former British colonies I can think of opted out of Commonwealth Membership makes the BE seem a bit like The Hotel California: “You can always check out, but you can never leave. Some Australians I met in Hoi An, Vietnam, told me that they their Republican movement was essentially waiting for Elizabeth II to die and The Coronation of Charles III to “bust a move”.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe wanting independence from Britain necessarily means you intend to be permanently hostile to Britain. In many ways losing the British Empire correlated with more political freedom for the English themselves.

    However asking about The Australian Greens saying things that -at least to me!!!- have strong Republican sounding overtones raises the question of how much environmental issues facing Australia (climate change, water issues, shorelines and coral reefs, marine issues, air pollution, cane toads) should be yolked to questions of Australian Identity and Republicanism.

    On the one hand it is possible to argue for a connection. On the other hand, you’d want some multi-partisan thinking on both sets of causes…..It’s not an easy question to answer.

    That said, I know that some people might tend to ridicule Australian Independence thanks to their largely English heritage-even if many of those English were transported for insanely minor crimes of “Jean Valjean” crimes. Doesn’t that, buy into the same genetic determinism that was often used to justify colonialism, enslavement, Nazism, and more?

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    • I think their opinions on the monarchy are mixed. Not sure what their official position is.

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      • I’m always struck by the accommodations that parties in monarchies tend to make. I have a certain sympathy for some aspects of that – not in the sense of agreeing with monarchy or compromising with it (I’m adamantly against monarchies), but in the sense of understanding the challenge that monarchy and class privilege flowing from it presents due to its embedded nature in a society, while still thinking – for example – that the British Labour Party has never really engaged with that reality in a way that might progress things and even begin to constrain it (and it also has to be said there was a sentiment within some quarters of the BLP that was and no doubt remains always positive towards monarchy). Can’t help but think that led to a situation where they just gave up on the issue and walked away.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It could be because some Monarchies manage to be very popular. Interesting you call it a class issue, as I would tend to see it as mostly a political one. Does it mean some are born to elite positions? Sure! Though I understand that most economic inequality in The UK and other Constitutional Monarchies (vs Saudi Arabia or Kuwait) is related to income differences between people who are not members of The Royal Family and have no Title. To me that fact, makes the political implications more important. I’ve heard it sensibly argued that Constitutional Monarchy is actually the main reason the PM in UK, Canada, and Australia is so powerful: The class system and Majority/Plurality voting are secondary factors.

          To some extent, I get the impulse saying “If it’s not broken don’t fix it.”, or that some people in the UK and Commonwealth Realms buy into the theory that having a Constitutional Monarchy protects them against a dictator. As an electoral reformist in a Republic I often run into that argument for a way less radical proposal than abolishing The Monarchy would be in the UK.

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          • In class terms it’s worth considering the sheer amount of wealth that the British monarchy has, the extent of its lands and so on. The Guardian did a special on this in the 2000s IIRC and even given my own cynicism about it I was surprised. And that sits at the top of a societal pyramid of which it is both legitimisation and legitimating force spreading downwards into areas of deeply embedded privilege – Oxbridge, military, business, etc. The immediate impact of such stratification is the manner in which it provides a barrier to people within the society from access to that class, but also to those areas mentioned, at least in any numbers and perpetuates the consolidation of privilege for those within that class across decades and centuries. I see the political side as being the symptom, not the cause, of those dynamics.

            I’m a little dubious that this provides an obstacle to dictatorship (not least because it certainly didn’t in a number of states with monarchies up to and including Spain – though ironically the monarchy played a not entirely dismal role in the emergence from dictatorship).

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            • Seems to me the minute the Monarch is head of state, that’s a big political question right there. You get a dilemma where any power you give to the Monarch is to somebody who is there by heredity-not by election, appointment, or any other mechanism. It turns out that contrary to what some people say The Queen has a good deal of political power. Any way to minimize this power, means you have a PM who faces very few checks on his power, unless he gets voted out. Often you end up with the worst of both worlds. The Constitutional Monarch has a lot of theoretical but unused power, so the PM gets a sort of blank check to wield it in practice.

              Interesting you mention Franco and Spain. I’ve heard it claimed about The English that old Ollie C, more or less vaccinated them against wanting another Republic. Of course, The Lord Protectorate was really a military dictatorship. However, there’s the whole imagery of Charles I being executed. I could understand how the combination of a popular modern Monarchy plus that could make people subliminally afraid of a Republic.

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              • Or a non-executive President which is the third option, as in the Irish, German, etc… systems where PM’s are not able to exercise their authority unchecked by constitutional norms (there’s also a Council of State in the ROI).

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  5. For much of the 20th century, successive Australian governments pursued a policy of deporting and barring entry to any race of people they considered undesirable. This was known as the White Australia policy, interesting Documentary

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Largely English heritage” of Australians? Doubtful. I remember reading some time back that 40% of Australians (not sure if total or ‘white Australians’) were of Irish descent (and they have figured hugely in every white social oppositional movement, from Castle Hill, through Eureka Stockade, bush rangers and militant trade unionism). Then add the indigenous, the aborigines. Then add Scottish, Welsh and Cornish immigrants or penal deportees (really big mining groups of Cornish, apparently). Then newer migrants of southern Europeans (that’s what I know about). I’d say those of English descent would be, however significant, a minority.

    As to Senates, I don’t agree with them anyway but that is a different issue.

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    • Hmmm. I have heard of Irish being transported for stealing food in The Famine in particular. However, if Australians are less English than I assumed, that doesn’t undermine my argument really.

      What don’t you like about Senates exactly? Is it the word Senate? Do you believe in a unicameral legislature? Or is it something about having a Senate as an institution?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t say it undermined your argument.

        Irish were transported as United irish rebels (republicans) in 1798 and staged the first non-indigenous rebellion at Castle Hill.
        Subsequently Young Irelander leaders were transported there at the end of the 1840s and then Fenians 1865-1867.

        Those were the political deportations and of course there were others for social ‘crimes’ such a reappropriating the food that had been stolen from them and not just during the Great Hunger.

        It is no accident that a number of ‘bushrangers’ were of Irish background and Ned Kelly considered himself an Irish Republican.

        I am opposed to senates because think one assembly is democratic and sufficient and should be by election, without patronage or appointments.

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        • Well I looked at the claims. OK, numbers vary as to how many or Australians are of English, Irish, or various other origins. Given the nature of transportation, that should be no surprise.

          That said, whatever the numbers, my point is that English ancestry and culture is NOT destiny.

          As for Senates: They vary a good deal in their set-ups. Ireland’s is probably in the minority for having appointed Senators. You might like the set up of Mexico’s Senate better . Each Mexican state elects two Senators, but unlike The US Senate each state uses ranked choices like in Irish districts so the first two choices, become the Senators for that Mexican state.

          Some really state/province legislatures to pick their Senator (India, Russia, US prior to 1912), and I think a few other countries use a hybrid between election of some type and selection by state Legislature. Having looked at a bunch of Bicameral Legislatures, I’d have to say the only one more unusual than the Irish Senate probably IS The British House of Lords. The combination of Taoiseach’s picks, Committee picks, and election solely by graduates of National Universities. I can’t think of any other upper house that uses any of those methods let alone a combination of them.

          If you want a unicameral legislature. Well those exist. However, an effort to switch the Senate to being an elected and/or county govt selected house, would likely stand a better chance of winning than getting rid of the The Senate entirely.

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