I awoke today and felt discombobulated. I am not sure that I understand what that word means, but it sounds like how I felt. But the discombobulation continued. I checked the web and the FaceBook pages are still rancid with stale anger and aimless abuse, abuse being hurled at the sky but falling to the ground, polluting the discourse. Our Taoiseach appears to think that, as did Barnum and Bailey, that there’s one born every minute, and the next dollop of suckers needs a bit of teasing and jollying to get them wound up for the razzmatazz and fairytales that make up an Irish Election. And yes, there must be clowns in the procession when the circus comes to town.
The Government is telling us that they have achieved 93% of their goals. That is brilliant! I mean it. The 7% unachieved or not included probably refers to things like homelessness, rhyming with carelessness, flooding and fear, oh dear, the international banks warning us to sell everything. But sorry, freedom means having nothing left to lose and that’s where most of us are now.
And the uncomfortable feeling of discombobulation began to ebb away. I began to recognise what caused it, why I was feeling frustrated and confused, disconcerted and, yes, upset. You see, there ought to be clowns, just bring on the clowns. Don’t bother, they’re here.
Before the odes to 1916, yes, odes, not “oweds” as in anything as offensive and discourteous as IOUs, yes, before the Odes to the Heroes are paraded and their living, loving and lavish descendents come a-courting the electorate one more, there is a little bit of unfinished business that I think needs attention. Let me jog your memory.
Not too long ago, a Prime Minister of Australia apologised to the indigenous people of that country for what the invading Europeans, aided and abetted by other invaders from abroad, had done to the native inhabitants. And I am sure that you remember when the Queen of England graced our shores and bowed her head in despect for our dead and half-remembered heroes. And we had a little bit of slapstick from our own Chuckle Brothers in the North when the Civil War, sorry, the Disturbances, subsided. But my discombobulation had nothing to do with any of that. I realised suddenly before we have any more celebrating of 1916, or even electioneering for the General Election, there is one item of unfinished business that should be gotten out of the way, remembered and then forgotten, but noted in history.
And it is this. I believe that the leaders of Ireland’s main political parties, namely, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Sinn Féin, and to a lesser but still tangible extent, the Labour Party, have a solemn and unavoidable duty to apologise to one another and to the Nation for the results of the destruction brought about by the behaviour of their ancestors from 1916 up to the end of the Civil War. I am referring not only to the destruction of life and property at the time, but also to the distortion of the political life of this country as a result, and in the ensuing decades up to now.
It is shear hypocracy to even whisper the names of the heroes who died for the sake of a better Ireland, and at the same time allow the dismemberment and the abuse of Ireland and its communities. The splintering of Irish society has developed as a result, State assets are being hived off and not even to the highest bidders. And too many politicians spouting the language of a disgraced, destructive, and blind doctrine of greed and exploitation continue the drive to sell Ireland to the highest bidders and the greatest exploiters our country has ever seen. The State, instead of cherishing all the adults and children of the Nation equally, is being run like a huckster shop, where everything has a price and everything is for sale.
“Consider all this, and call for the mourners. And send for the wailing women who will grieve and bring on grieving”. Oh dear! Perhaps Jeremiah was also discombobulated.