Israeli-style National Service must be introduced by the next Westminster Government as a means of combating crime in the community, according to political commentator, Dr John Coulter, in his Fearless Flying Column today.

British security forces, or Irish defence forces - that should be the choice which all citizens who live in Northern Ireland must decide if compulsory National Service is restored by a future Westminster Government.

Under my proposed scheme, all adults aged 16 plus who hold either British or Irish passports, but who live in Northern Ireland must serve at least two years in the armed forces; a scheme similar to the one which exists in Israel.

Granted, mention Israel and this can spark a debate in the opposite direction about the situation in the Middle East.

However, in a truly democratic society, the powers-that-be have a moral duty and obligation to protect the citizens of that state.

Given the security co-operation established by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in terms of the cross-border bodies and British-Irish bodies, Northern Irish citizens will have the choice of either serving their two years with the British security forces - Army, Navy, Air Force and PSNI, or the Republic’s defence forces - Irish army, navy, air force, and Garda.

Likewise, during the time a citizen is serving with the security forces, as part of their National Service, they will be trained in a vocational trade, such as electrician, joiner, brick worker. In short, they will leave with recognised vocational qualifications as well as military training and social respect. These will also, if required, include recognised qualifications in numeracy, literacy and social communication skills.

After completing their two years, candidates will be given the option of continuing to develop their careers in the armed forces. The compulsory National Service will be done by all citizens, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and ability.

Even those with a clear physical or mental disability will have the opportunity to serve with the armed forces. The aim of such paid National Service is to develop the concept of patriotism in all citizens. It does not mean Northern Ireland will be flooded with either legal or illegal weapons as exists in parts of American society.

Such a cross-border initiative means that citizens who live in traditional republican areas will not be forced to serve in the British Army, for example, but can serve their two years with the Irish Defence Forces.

It also means that, potentially, every 16-year-old in Northern Ireland is guaranteed paid employment at that age, especially if the voting age is also lowered to 16. Young adults can opt out at 16, but must be enrolled in National Service by the age of 30.

The British and Irish Government must drastically reduce the amount of cash they waste on overseas aid and plough that finance into funding for cross-border National Service. Likewise, suitable candidates enrolled into a National Service scheme will also have the opportunity to represent their armed forces serving with NATO or the United Nations.

Opportunities must also be developed under a new British Isles/United States trade agreement that suitable candidates undertaking cross-border National Service may also complete part of that Service with the various branches of the US forces.

Similarly, as part of the cross-border arrangement, the British-Irish agreement can allow for hot pursuit of terrorist suspects on both sides of the Irish border across Ireland.

Practically, this means the PSNI and British Army can pursue dissident republican terrorists to Dublin if necessary and equally, the Garda and Irish Defence Forces could pursue loyalist dissidents into Unionist strongholds who attack the republic as a result of Brexit.

During the conflict, many republican terrorists were able to evade capture because they escaped to the safety of the Irish republic. It should be noted that the IRA’s 1956-62 border campaign became a military disaster because the British and Irish security forces co-operated - especially through the tactic of internment - to stamp out the cross-border threat from republicans.

Likewise, such locally trained militias as a result of National Service would have powers to combat anti-social behaviour and criminality in their communities, as well as prepare the island of Ireland for any potential threat from radical Islamic terrorists.

This will give more trained ‘bite’ to the PSNI-approved Neighbourhood Watch schemes, without those schemes gaining the reputation of becoming little more than armed vigilantes.

The cross-border National Service programme should be introduced as part of a comprehensive scheme of combating crime in the community. Primarily, the death penalty will be re-introduced for convicted murderers, especially child killers and drug barons.

The form of execution will be the electric chair as death by lethal injection gives the perception of the convicted murderer simply going for a wee doze. If the death penalty is to be a deterrent, then the means of execution must put the fear of God into anyone thinking of committing a crime which could carry the sentence of death.

On the policy of prison reform, the 50 per cent remission will be axed and life in prison will mean life. The perception has arisen that Irish prisons are more like holiday camps than a location where convicted criminals will be housed.

As part of their sentences, all criminals - no matter what the degree of the crime - will have a period of hard labour whereby they will be used to clear rubbish, sweep roads in the same manner as the American system of chain gangs was adopted.

Anyone convicted by the courts of drug dealing will have all their financial assets seized and the cash injected into the respective health services on both sides of the border, especially in the areas of cancer research, drug rehabilitation, cutting the waiting lists and developing education provision.

There will be much tougher sentences for sex offenders with anyone convicted by the courts of sexual abuse chemically castrated or neutered. The sentence for child rape will be the automatic death penalty using the electric chair.

These may seem harsh measure and no doubt the ‘fluffy bunny’ liberals will be screaming human rights to the heavens. But the reality is that society can become too politically correct and the rights of victims of crime quickly brushed under the legislative carpet.

The perception of the ‘ordinary decent criminal’ compared to the terrorist must be confined to the legal dustbin. There are only criminals.

Society has a moral imperative to look after its citizens in terms of health, education and even employment. But society also has a duty of care to its citizens - and this means protecting them on the street or in their own homes.

The criminal must understand that when they seek to commit a crime, they will face dire consequences if caught and convicted by a court. People can moan about the need to be a tolerant, secular liberal society - until it is their home which is burgled, their car which is stolen, their granny who is mugged.

Follow Dr John Coulter on Twitter @JohnAHCoulter

Society's Duty Of Care Through National Service

A Morning Thought @ 556

Simon Pirani took to Facebook to express his concerns about the anti-Semitism cloud that has enveloped the British Labour Party,

People are asking me how, as a Jewish person, I see the witch-hunt about “anti-Semitism” in the Labour Party. I am not Jewish by religion, but I am by the chief rabbi’s definition and Hitler’s definition; I am not a Labour party member and doubt I ever will be; and I am not convinced that sounding off on facebook is very helpful. But here goes.

I tried to write a bit about this last week, and stopped because it was going on and on. It’s complicated. Because obviously there is anti-Semitism in the Labour Party like there is everywhere else. When Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the Board of Deputies (a really good letter that’s on the BBC web site) he referred to “forms of anti-Semitism specific to the left”. I agreed with that, and didn’t agree with Labour friends who thought that saying so was a bad idea.

It’s also complicated because these forms of anti-Semitism, quite often involving a confusion in lefties’ minds between the state of Israel and Jews as a group of people (an identification the state of Israel has been proselytising all along), also fade into the sort of one-dimensional politics that I have come to hate and despise as it is practiced by proto-Stalinists, ex-Stalinists and plain old Stalinists with respect to Ukraine, Syria and wherever – that Bashar al-Assad, or whoever, must be on our side because the US state department calls them bad names. Think of Chris Williamson. So all that’s complicated.

But there’s also some stuff that is relatively simple. Quite clearly, in the context of the worldwide shift to the right by rightwing politicians, the Israeli government has stepped up its efforts to identify as anti-Semitism all opposition to its treatment of the Palestinians. (No space for Jews like me who know a cruel form of apartheid when we see one.)

Quite clearly, there are rightwingers in the Labour Party who have done much to stoke the witch-hunt against Corbyn because, on some level or other, they would rather a Tory government than a Corbyn one. A good example is Margaret Hodge – who herself famously embraced the racist discourse of the BNP when standing against them in an election (I think it was in Barking?). These people have stoked this insanity to an insane degree. And then there are people jumping on the bandwagon because the British elite is, despite what the Financial Times says about being able to live with McDonnell’s policies, very uncomfortable on all sorts of levels with the thought of a Corbyn government. Think of the chief rabbi and the head of the Church of England (who don’t agree on the minor matter of Jesus’s claim to infallibility but do agree on advising people not to vote Labour).

The Labour Party leadership collectively hasn’t handled all this well, most obviously by putting dunderheads in charge of the disciplinary process, who have used it to carry on expelling left wingers (basically the only thing they know how to do). Acceptance of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which many people who go on about it don’t understand, has made matters worse. John McDonnell should have known better. I also think Corbyn, on the basis of his lifelong record of antiracist activity – he’s one of a small number of MPs who could hold an intelligent conversation on the subject – should have been much more robust. I would have liked to see him sue for defamation Hodge and others who accused him personally of being a “racist and anti-Semite”, a vile slander for which there is no shred of evidence.

Anyway. A bit late now. Things have spiralled onwards in the deranged hall of mirrors that British politics has become. This issue is not now at the same place as it was three years ago. It’s evolved, just as the Brexit thing has, because there is class war. It’s about making sure that the precious pinnacles of British capitalism don’t fall into the hands of a bunch of left wing social democrats. It’s about trying to kill off the Labour Party, discipline it ideologically, rather than have it evolve into some new kind of social democracy for the twenty-first century. It’s about trying to get at Corbyn personally, although I think he’s tough enough to deal with that. And it’s about next Thursday, when Dominic Cummings and his mates are hoping to get elected as prime minister Boris Johnson, a disgusting racist who through his whole political career has stoked prejudice, against people of colour, single mothers, the working class, the continent of Europe, whoever.

So in the hall of mirrors, the witch-hunt could end up helping this horrible piece of shit. Obviously. I’ll be voting Labour to try to stop that. And I won’t be discussing all this on the comments to this post, sorry, but do send me a personal message, call me up, denounce me on your own facebook feed, or whatever, if you wish.

⏭ Simon Pirani is a London based political activist and writer.

Stoking The Witch-Hunt Against Corbyn

Friendly Atheist on the case of a bishop forced to resign.

By David Gee

A Catholic bishop with an anti-gay history has resigned from his post following several controversies involving him covering up for priests who were credibly abused of sexually abusing young children.

Bishop Richard J. Malone, who raised money through the Church to fight against same-sex marriage laws in 2009, got into trouble last year when he released a list of abusive priests that included 42 names. That’s because the actual went as high as 324, according to some reports.

A year later, in September, someone leaked a recording of Malone talking about how he wasn’t going to act on harassment involving another priest, whom he called a “sick puppy.” It’s a pretty troubling pattern.

All that scandal finally resulted in his resignation, as noted by the New York Times:

On Wednesday, after months of pressure from priests and lay leaders, the Vatican said in a statement that it had accepted the resignation of Bishop Malone, effective immediately. Since the Vatican did not specify the reasons behind the resignation, it was unclear whether Bishop Malone had been forced to quit.

Bishop Malone, in a statement, described his resignation as an early retirement that had been accepted by Pope Francis. He said he had made the decision to step down “freely and voluntarily” after being made aware of the conclusions of a recent Vatican investigation into the crisis in his diocese, which has been in turmoil over his handling of clergy abuse cases.

“I have concluded, after much prayer and discernment, that the people of Buffalo will be better served by a new bishop who perhaps is better able to bring about the reconciliation, healing and renewal that is so needed,” he wrote.

Now that is the understatement of the year. There is certainly going to be no healing with him in power.

Malone had previously vowed that he wouldn’t resign, especially because he was scheduled to retire in 15 months — on his 75th birthday, as is tradition.

In case you think Pope Francis did the right thing in asking Malone to step down, however, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

When Malone, 73, returned from the “ad limina” visit in Rome, he issued a statement Nov. 18 restating his position that he had no intention of resigning.

In that statement, Malone said “… it was clear that the pope understands the difficulties and distress we here in Buffalo and I, personally, have been experiencing.”

Reports consistently show that Pope Francis has supported the bishop throughout this controversy. Ultimately, the public pressure may have been too much.

It shouldn’t take this long for those who cover-up for abusers to leave (or resign or get forced out of) the Catholic Church. The Church needs to do a better job of holding its own leaders accountable for their inappropriate actions.

Anti-Gay Bishop Who Covered Up Child Sex Abuse Finally Resigns

A Morning Thought @ 555

From the Belfast Telegraph Ex-hunger striker Gerard Hodgins calls on Sinn Fein to halt the sale of 'exploitative' Sands shirts.

By Suzanne Breen

A former IRA hunger striker has called on Sinn Fein to stop selling Bobby Sands sports jerseys.

Gerard Hodgins said they were exploitative and in bad taste.

He was speaking to the Belfast Telegraph after it was revealed that the future of the Sinn Fein company involved in the sale of republican memorabilia is at risk due to falling demand for its wares.

"The Sands family have said time and time again that they don't want his image to be used in this way," Mr Hodgins said.

"I reiterate the family's request. If the people selling this merchandise genuinely love Bobby, please stop making money out of him now."

Continue reading at Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein Racket

Christopher Owens is impressed by the poetry of Beano Niblock. 

These days, poetry is often underrated. Yet, it's a form unlike any other.

T.S Eliot once claimed that “...genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood” and Allen Ginsberg described the job of the poet as depicting the montage of thoughts when "It's that time of night, lying in bed...making the private world public..." The best poets spark our imagination with less words then an academic text. Hence why some of the most potent anti-war writing came from the trenches of the First World War.

So it's right that the recent conflict serves as Beano Niblock's muse.

Troubles Curriculum has been described by Niblock as covering:

...the years 1969 (when I was 14) to 1973 and charts those days when I was a young gang member and subsequently a teenage paramilitary and young prisoner.

The title itself perfectly sums up that tension that many felt at the time: between a normal life and stepping up to aid your community in such dire times.

The language used throughout is sensory, harsh, bleak and somehow reflective. The reader can feel themselves wandering through these war torn streets, constantly on the look out for suspicious types and wondering where the bliss and tranquillity of childhood went to. Coupled with Niblock's eye for a telling photograph, these poems tell the tale of a descent into hell (even though the narrator does not fully recognise it until the end) as the surroundings around him follow suit.

What immediately jumps out is the frank narrative. No attempt at justification nor romanticism, just stark reality. Take 'Across the Line' as such an example. A moment where "taking the next step" was moving on from childish games into deadly serious adulthood. Something we all face at some point, but rarely does it come with such cold realisation.

The same applies with 'One on B Wing', where the solitude and reality of what the narrator has done hits us in the face. This is the end of the line, for the time being. The starkness sends chills through the body and the old saying "there but for the grace of God go I" as the reader takes into account the full journey.

With only 15 poems, Niblock manages to capture the visceral feelings of those trapped in a war, torn between having a normal life and defending their community. His writing is evocative and immediate, a true working class voice.

Once again, poetry goes where fact cannot.

Robert Niblock, 2019, Troubles Curriculum and Other Poems. ACT Initiative. Privately Published.

⏩ Christopher Owens was a reviewer for Metal Ireland and finds time to study the history and inherent contradictions of Ireland.

Troubles Curriculum

A Morning Thought @ 554

Joe Dalton offers his take on a book about Irish Water @ Joe's Water Blog - Water Warriors, Profiteers, Heroes and Villains – A view from Ireland and Bahrain.

Michael Brennan, the Business Post political editor, has written a fantastic book, In Deep Water, that chronicles the fiasco of the failed attempt to introduce domestic water charges across Ireland, from before their introduction in 2014 to after their suspension in 2016. It describes the creation of the national water utility “Irish Water”, which took over water service responsibility from 34 local authorities (since consolidated to 31). 

The precision in the writing means that not a word is wasted across the just over 300 pages. This is a political thriller of where water and society meet, which deserves to be widely read. It will appeal to readers on both sides of the water charges argument that gripped Ireland like no other issue in recent years.

Brennan goes for short chapters, which provide a compelling parallel narrative featuring all of the key players including politicians, Government advisors, civil servants, utility staff and anti-water charge protestors. Every one of the 61 chapters packs a punch. It provides a compelling insight into how Government functions and interacts with wider society. 

A Neglected Water Service

The book leaves little doubt that reform of the water sector in Ireland was needed. The chapter “A Neglected Water Service” provides a shocking and infuriating tale of inefficiency under the previous Council regime, with reports of “useless” wastewater treatment plants, raw sewage discharges and lack of knowledge of the location of the water and sewerage networks.

One of the most jaw dropping passages in the book described the unexpected death of a council water technician in Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary. He was the only person who knew the location of the water pipe network. It was never recorded on a Geographical Information System (GIS), as is standard practice across the World. I have personally worked with utilities in several African towns with more sophisticated water network mapping than Carrick-on-Suir. 

Government Panic

Reading the book, I was struck by the frequency of the words “panic” and “rushed”. So many flawed decisions with far reaching consequences for Ireland’s water infrastructure were made for blinkered political reasons. Civil servants too often saw their job as unquestionably following Government policy, ignoring advice that countered it.

For example, a patently ludicrous “cost benefit analysis” was prepared to justify the roll out of universal domestic metering. Brennan interestingly highlights that it was prepared by anonymous civil servants, which is apparently a common practice. This surely cannot be right. No one with knowledge of the issue would have appended their names to such a document.

The books gives the lie to the notion that “hindsight” is necessary for understanding the challenges of reforming Ireland’s water sector. Good advice was available at the time. The Government chose not to take it. 

Water Charges Defeated

While the water engineer in me was sorry to see water charges defeated, this book shows why (at least part of) the Irish citizen in me is glad.

The book details positive aspects to their failure, which should be acknowledged. There was an extraordinary comradery among the anti-water charge protestors who had suffered seemingly endless austerity. Brennan refers to the rediscovery of the Irish tradition of meitheal, where neighbours come together to bring home the harvest. A vivid example is given of a Cobh resident who was suffering from depression. The protests gave him a sense of purpose and social inclusion.

Another positive aspect of their failure is the apparent end of the Government obsession with “off balance sheet” spending, what I would argue was the “original sin” of the whole fiasco. It was the Government that underinvested in Ireland’s water infrastructure for decades. Their failed attempt to get Irish Water off the Government’s books was an attempted abdication of responsibility by multiple Government departments. 

Ireland needs Irish Water

“Abolish Irish Water” became a populist cry during the anti-water charge protests. Yet I struggle to understand how anyone who reads this book with an open mind could continue to argue that Ireland doesn’t need a national water utility. Setting it up was the right thing to do.

Former Irish Water Managing Director John Tierney, who declined to be interviewed for the book, was vilified throughout his tenure. In the book he is shown as an honest public servant who commanded the loyalty of his staff while trying to do a very challenging and stressful job. His reluctance to being interviewed is perhaps illustrative of his inability to adequately communicate the utility position during the crucial early stages of the establishment of Irish Water.

The story is not over. Something Brennan only alludes to in the book, but has written about elsewhere, is the tension that exists right up to the present between the Council water workers and Irish Water.

John Tierney was recruited as Managing Director due to his Council background and his apparent ability to get the Council workers on board. This does not appear to have been achieved. The reasons why would make for an interesting afterword.

Michael Brennan, 2019, In Deep Water, How People, Politics and Protests Sank Irish Water.      Mercier Press. ISBN-13: 978-1781176580.

Political Thriller Of Irish Water

A Morning Thought @ 553

From The Guardian an item on India's rape culture.
By Hannah Ellis-Petersen  
➤Four men arrested over murder of veterinary doctor that has left country in shock.

The gang rape of a veterinary doctor whose body was set on fire and dumped under a bridge has sent shockwaves through India, with hundreds of women taking to the streets in protest.

The charred body of the 27-year-old woman was found on the outskirts of the southern city of Hyderabad on Wednesday night.

CCTV footage, police reports and witness accounts suggest the attack had been premeditated. The woman’s scooter tyres had allegedly been deflated by four men, who then sat waiting in a lorry nearby and approached her to offer help.

She was allegedly dragged to an uninhabited scrubland near the motorway that was hidden from the road by bushes, where she was smothered to muffle her screams and raped by the men. It is believed they then suffocated her. Her body was then put into a truck and taken to a motorway underpass, where the men set it alight and dumped it at around 2am.

Her body was found at 5am by a resident of nearby Chatanpally village who noticed smoke. The body was wrapped in a blanket and had been doused with kerosene.

Continue reading @ The Guardian.

Protests In India After Woman Gang Raped And Burned To Death

Conor Lynam argues that there is an unconscious Anglicisation of Irish life.

Through my own pursuit of happiness and by trying to shed the unhelpful habits that I have developed over years of existence I have learned some most unexpected things.

Much like when you take an unforeseen detour on a walk that leads you to the unanticipated and wonderful places that were not part of your original plan.

It’s an awakening of sorts and it changes everything inside you so fundamentally that there is no easy way back.

I have always questioned things, people and practices that have never really rested easily with my own train of thought. I have, over the years, relentlessly reached out for answers to my questions that have left me more confused than when I started out.

Even the realisation that such questions could not fully be explained never stopped the invisible cogs in my head turning.

Through my pursuit and my tortured travails I discovered the unconscious mind and the powers that it holds over everything that we do.

From picking up a pint on a Friday to parking in the same spot in the work car park, everything we do is driven by either conscious or unconscious thought.

The latter we don’t need the former for, and the former needs no explanation.

The unconscious mind however does, it’s an invisible place where years of conditioning have shaped our thoughts and thereby our practices and ultimately our lives.

I remember walking out from Croke Park after a Dublin were destroyed by Kerry in an All-Ireland semi-final. Kerry had scored 3 goals inside the first half and they left a humiliated Dublin to play out the inevitable until the final whistle was blown.

It’s time to be honest, I left at half-time, something I’m not particularly proud of. Such was the scale of the trashing that I left alone knowing Dublin were beaten, and another year searching for the ghosts of 1995 had to be cast aside for now.

As I walked up Dorset Street I passed by a pub that I had intended to drown my sorrows in, I needed some quiet time, just me my pint and my reluctance to accept what had just happened.

There was a TV on outside the pub, which would entice punters inside. I reluctantly glanced at the television to see how much more damage had been inflicted since I left, tail firmly between my legs.

English premier league football reflected back at me, this was my awakening, this was my point of no return.

How could a country or what I believed to be a proud city be showing a game from across the Irish Sea the same time as a game of such import was on only a few hundred yards away.

Surely they had switched at half-time, the same as me they had enough and couldn’t bear any more.

I quickly discovered that this was not the case as I opened the bar door and peaked inside.

A number of men wearing their football shirts of choice surrounded the TV, they swallowed their pints and their eyes focused on the English match at play.

I was completely dismayed, not because I thought that Dublin may have re-enacted the same kind of resurrection as Lazarus had achieved all those years ago.

It was much more fundamental than that, it opened a wound that consciously I forgot and moved onto the next pub but my unconscious was not so easy to let go.

I went home after my fill of pints and switched on the TV, like a masochist I wanted to watch the Dublin implosion one more time, just to feel sorry for myself once more before I called it a night.

The sports section of the news would commence shortly on RTE, our national broadcaster.

Again, I was left dismayed as the headline news of the sports section was led by what had happened in Manchester that day.

Sure enough the Dublin game got a full report but it was confined to the second report of the day, I was inconsolable, how had this become the accepted.

It was time for bed, tomorrow would be a better day, and a new dawn would begin to heal the wounds of that Sunday in August when, unbeknownst to myself my unconscious awakening had begun.

At the end of that month I went on a much needed holiday to Portugal, the Dublin defeat now resigned to a distant but bitter memory that I had moved on from.

I walked the sandy beaches as the sun beat down, I ate, drank and did everything that the working week and our own temperate climate restricts us from doing.

One evening I was sitting outside a bar, the news was on and I watched without any interest.

I sipped from a cold bottle of beer and let the evening sounds echo in my mind.

The sports section started with a local game of football, and finished with some Portuguese tennis star I had never heard of.

La Liga in neighbouring Spain had just begun and to my surprise there was no mention of the results.

Why would there be I thought as the icy beer slipped down my throat, they are a different country with different traditions and different languages.

My mind raced back to the RTE news and why the Irish who cheered on any international team except for England were all supporting their conqueror’s teams in the premier league.

How had this happened, how had we become so slavish in our mentality, was it a Stockholm syndrome scenario.

Imaging a scenario in Portugal where a large portion of the Lisbon population dress in Barcelona or Real Madrid colours each Sunday and swap insults at each other as they watch their neighbours football unfold from their local bar.

It sounds ridiculous, right.

It would be easy at this point to simply pontificate about the folly of our misplaced allegiances without trying to understand how all of this has become normalised.

Where did it begin and why has it become the norm. Republicans with far more credentials than the author of this piece practice this ritual most weekends.

Far from criticising I am struggling to understand the concept.

Sport and politics are two separate entities I’m told, not linked and not to be linked under any circumstances.

Ok, so why every November do we have to endure the embarrassing ritualistic practice around Armistice Sunday?

Why would the British army appear at British football games whenever the narrative fits if sport is solely sport.

Why are national anthems played and national flags flickered while the masses stand to attention at any given cup final day if politics is not intertwined with sport.

I suppose my question is why do we strive for independence when we are clearly not independent in thought as a nation ought to be.

What is it that we are seeking, is it Brit’s out except for Sundays and maybe Wednesdays or Thursdays depending on the European endeavours of our chosen English club?

Why do the masses criticise Irish league football without having ever watched a match or been to a ground.

Why does it rest so easily with us as a people to despise the English national team yet cheer on their squad member’s week in and week out?

Many questions I know and having asked them to myself many times I think I have found a reason.

At the start of this article I mentioned the unconscious mind, and it is on this phenomenon that I will end upon.

We switch on the TV we are bombarded with everything British, our favourite movies, soap operas, news and sport is all but a click of the remote away.

We have spoken English since we were able to talk and are almost embarrassed to let loose on the few focail Gaeilge that we all possess.

Music, even rebel songs are in English, it is an irony that is painfully true.

So what makes us Irish, what makes us different to our neighbours across the water.

Is it simply Geography at this stage, we have been so conditioned and broken as a people at this stage that a 32 county state, if achieved would mean little.

I think James Connolly summed it up best when he mentioned the removal of the English army and the hoisting the green flag over Dublin castle.

When I look back on patriots like Pearse and his contemporaries I now know what they were striving for was much more than what was taken geographically.

It was the things that the British stole without us even noticing.

It was the irrevocable scars that the unconscious mind has never healed from.

It is far deeper than we would like to admit.

It might very well be a terminal transformation that centuries of conditioning will never allow us to remove.

⏩ Conor Lynam is a campaigner with the IRPWA

Our Unconscious Anglicisation

A Morning Thought @ 552