A New Republic!
We have discussed on this forum many issues both economic and social but I have rarely found a thread that discusses our society as a unit and as an interconnected community.
I have heard and read about different economic and social “models”. Capitalist, Socialist, Democratic, Republican, Monarchy, Communist. Scandic, French, American, Mediterranean, Theological.
The list of models is endless. We seem to search the world for a model that we would like or that might fit us.
My proposal here is to discuss the idea that there is no “model” for Ireland, Éire, Republic of Ireland.
We already have a “model”; it’s the Irish model. If you look at our politics and the type of parties we vote for and that are available to vote for, it’s clear the both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael make up the majority of voters in this island nation.
If I examine both of these parties, it’s clear that both are fairly similar in nature. I know supporters from either side will disagree but I’m a neutral in this and I can tell you that if Fine Gael were in power today the outcomes would be fairly similar.
The third party, Labour, represents a distinct centre/left view which is not a million miles away from Fianna Fail but is still quite conservative just like the two larger parties.
So essentially we are a centre to centre/left Conservative people. We move slowly, we move cautiously, we don’t make too many waves and we tend to desire and search for respect and approval from our larger more dominant neighbours in Europe.
All in all we represent a nation that is not at ease with itself in a world dominated by larger, more aggressive nations. We are more likely to attempt to reach consensus and compromise than to stand independently and against the grain. We are more likely to nod in agreement with the majority after quietly looking around to check that that is what the majority are doing in the first place.
This makes us weak in the eyes of our neighbours, in the eyes of the markets and in the eyes of each other. I often think that the anger we feel around the country is not so much at our politicians but at ourselves for letting these politicians speak on our behalf; to represent us.
We are in the middle of a huge shame-fest that will have a significant influence on us as a people in the future.
We are growing up.
In 5 or 10 years time we will be a completely different nation to what we are now.
We will be assertive, quick to anger, slow to forgive and a hell of a lot harder than we are today. Or at least our elected representative will be.
But what of us, the people, in our own land and homes?
How different will this test of our nationhood affect us and our relations with each other?
I feel a corner has been turned in Ireland. I don’t know exactly when it was turned but there is a new consensus forming among the citizens, taxpayers, voters of this Republic.
In the words of W.B. Yeats, “All is changed, changed utterly; A Terrible Beauty is Born”