Sunday, 13 February 2011

What do I stand for? Election, of course.

The state of Irish politics was expressed perfectly when the most successful electoral politician of the modern era stated that his biggest regret was that he didn't get to build a vanity sports stadium in a city already oversupplied with them.

He didn't regret turning the venue for the Community games into a low level prison camp for people whose only crime was wanting to be Irish. He didn't regret that the huge new terminus at Dublin Airport was becoming the launching pad for another generation of Irish emigrants whose children will be slagged off as plastic paddies in some future Ireland of the welcomes. Unless of course they happen to be President of the good ol' US of A. It's not just the politicians who admire power for powers sake.

It wasn't that we still had a prison which was out of date at the time of the Rising. He seems to be of the (often unchallenged) opinion that prisoners forego their right to be Irish. In this he echoes the current Prime Minister of our erstwhile masters across the Irish sea who seems to be showing his true colours at the moment as he fulminates at having to give prisoners the vote and the failed 'experiment' of multiculturalism. I thought there was general agreement that fascism had also failed but that's last weeks news apparently. How long before all convicted felons lose the right to vote. They're probably not Tory voters. Bush did it, it must be right. The irony is, of course that many are in prison because they hold the same opinion as the Tories but just from a different starting point. They believe in deregulation of things like property rights and the right of everyone to pursue wealth off the backs of the hard work of others.

I wouldn't have such an issue with this if I felt the right people were in prison. Prison is more about class than crime, however.

Anyway, back to Eire where Amnesty's Torture Committee make damning reports on our prison system and our party of power doesn't bother with removing people from the electoral register - it simply adds extra voters and leaves the dead to continue to hold a stranglehold on the country through the ballot box. I wonder how many people carrying out Opinion Polls have mediums on their staff.

Micheal Martin seems to be trying to pick up a few pointers from the Tories as he proposes moving our electoral system to a one seat constituency basis. This would put a stop to all these smaller parties and inconvenient independents and might lead to Micheal winning an overall majority in the future (not this time anyway Micheal). Representation of minorities isn't one of our strong points. Others are talking about assigning people randomly to virtual constituencies. If this could be tweaked to create constituencies for prisoners, travelers, refugees, atheists and others whose rights are trampled on it might serve some purpose.

Who is talking about building a country that deserves sovereignty? Remember that a key issue and worry of generations of Irish politicians was that the banks had to remain in Irish hands to protect sovereignty. If only we had encouraged someone else to buy the damn things before they blew up in our faces and the Brians, Cowen and Lenihan decided to line us all up to absorb the shrapnel.

Anyway it's good to see that irish nationalism remains a key issue and that the doyens of nationalism are likely to increase their power base south of the border by sticking to their guns. The removal of cash from financial institutions has long been one of their core funding strategies and it's good to see them finally put it before the electorate.

Let's not forget the country that we want to build in the worry over funding the one we have. If we have a vision of where we want to go we might get there. Be careful of what you ask for. You might get it again.

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