This thread is not about the right or wrong of abortion, nor of the Lisbon Treaty, nor anything other than a commentary about a pathetic and peculiar characteristic appallingly common in Ireland - the 'We'll do anything to make you like us' gene. It is particularly prevalent among politicians and leading media outlets. I am truly intrigued as to where the hell this craven, subservient, pathetic mentality came from, and why it is so prevalent in Ireland, particularly in Irish public life.
I have watched over the last few days as poster after poster, politician after politician, and media outlet after media outlet, have been busily engaging in the equivalent of saying 'ah, the neighbours think we're wrong, how do we get their approval again?'. I've watched again and again as people have put up links to headlines outrageosly describing Ireland as a 'murderer' in trash Indian tabloids and sub-Fox News videos of ridiculous Indian 'news programmes' (I've watched Indian news channels many times in the past, they're childishly awful) working themselves up into a fact-free state of hysteria. These people then say 'Look! They don't like us! We must act to get them to like us again!' even on the basis of utter morons talking ill-founded crap without any reference to the actual facts of the situation.
Even a pro-choicer would agree with me about what I say next. The abject spinelessness of some of our 'leadership' has been utterly galling to watch. Had an irish woman died in these circumstances, it'd be on the news, but maybe fourth item down, and the government would kick the issue to touch and no more would be said about it. But because it is someone from abroad, and because people abroad are taking an interest, all of a sudden the politicians are running to meetings with ambassadors, and ordering multiple enquiries, and urging reform. Several who had refused to legislate or had argued against it are now blowing in the win, checking which way opinion is going and adhusting their principles accordingly. This is pathetic beyond words.
It is not just about abortion either. When Lisbon was rejected, we had politicians virtually running to Europe to apologize for the will of the Irish people being expressed, and assuring them that the will of the people wouldn't be allowed to stand. Eamon Gilmore was saying that the will of the people should be respected publicly, then went around privately assuring foreigners that it wouldn't be. The Irish government acted as if it was representing EU interests in Ireland, not Irish interests at the EU. I have never seen a national government come so close to apologizing for the will of its own people!!!! The level of hand-wringing in the media and by politicians on the basis of criticism by some in Europe (mostly pro-integration idealogues and elite politicians) was astonishing to behold.
The attitude was most evident in the 'burn the bondholders' debate, in that there wasn't a debate at all - it was automatically assumed that we must pay all our debts to outsiders regardless of the amount of destruction and pain it causes for Ireland. I'm not even arguing that the decision was ultimately wrong (I think it is probably an unsustainable policy) but I'm saying that the old craven mentality was paramount in the thinking behind the decision more than anything else.
When foreign investors come here they are treated like gods arrived among us. Unless they are returned Irish emigrants, in which case they are fit only to be fleeced or put through hell if they don't 'play the game'. Foreign tourists are welcome here, but returned emigrants are treated with suspicion or envy.
Turn on the Late Late Show many weeks and there are pop stars, Hollywood celebrities and the like, all being asked do they like Ireland in a way which suggests that we are desperate for validation - 'Please like us! Please patronize us, we like that!'
Do they have a backbone at all? Where does this national inferioirity complex come from? This idea that because we now and again do something differently from others we MUST be wrong?
I'm really intrigued to know. I never had much time for Éamon de Valera, but he was at least a statesman who would actually be pretty confident on the world stage and stand up for what he perceived (rightly or wrongly) to be Irish interests. What we have now is a so-called 'leadership' which involves running around the world begging and crawling, with an infallible metropolitan liberal belief that outsiders are inherently superior. Do you think that de Valera would have achieved any respect, however grudging, from Winston Churchill if he had handed over the ports and signed Ireland up to war as Churchill wanted? Yet I suspect that our current 'betters' would have done just that, anxious to achieve the favourable judgment of others, no matter how detrimental the cost to us.
You get no respect from anyone when you are so pathetic and subservient, no more than an employee who behaves like a doormat for his bosses rather than standing up for his interests, nor a spouse who lets him- or herself be treated like crap.
Please explain this attitude to me, I really want to understand why the British, the French, the Indians, the Germans, th Americans, virtually everyone else, will automatically defend themselves from outside criticism or stand up for their own perceived interests, yet we crawl along cravenly seeking outside approval and for others to like us. Why are we, particularly politicians and the liberal media elite, so desperate for approval from those who will look after their own interests robustly, quite in contrast to us???
In short, what the hell is wrong with the prevalent Irish mentality, particularly among politicians and journalists, that they feel the need to go begging and crawling for validation from outside?
Cue the abuse for pointing out the truth....