TPQ welcomes the return of Matt Treacy to blogging @ Brocaire Books where he argues that the push back against political correctness more than anything else led to the high vote for Peter Casey in last week's Irish Presidential election.
To listen to some of the liberal bien pensants who dominate the leaderships of every party represented in Leinster House, and the vast majority of media punditry, you might be forgiven for believing that the Condor Legion had just dropped a payload on a workshop on transgender abortion rights.
I am of course referring to the reaction to the scale of the vote won by Presidential candidate Peter Casey. The irony of course is that he would have remained a pretty much dead cert for last place had not the Care Bear NKVD spuriously rounded on him for being a racist.
The only thing I knew about him was that he was part of the Dragon’s Den TV show, which I confess to having never watched, and that he had once been nominated to the Senate by the employers organisation IBEC. Neither of which were calculated to entice yours truly and the dogs to the local polling station.
Ironically, said cabal of liberals fully share the IBEC/Varadkar/Project 2040 “vision” of a state based on mass immigration. While that triumvirate’s objective is the creation of a low wage economy with Dublin transformed into a high rise Parisian banlieue for pretty basic reasons, the liberal left either sees this as the harbinger of the workers being united and back to the rice paddies and the logging camps; or, on the right wing of the Care Bears, the chance to eat exotic foods and generally wallow in diversity.
The substantial vote for Casey was in large part a running kick in the arse for all of that. Nothing to do with racism, or indeed immigration as Casey himself by all accounts shares in the above vision, the IBEC one as opposed to its left faction.
It was a reaction to the cloying hectoring lecturing attempt, largely successful, to silence any form of dissent from the agenda for a “lovely new Ireland,” to borrow a phrase from one of our Commissars. Not so much a vote for Casey then. More a vote against all of the above.
In a curious way Casey did, however, echo an older republican left belief that travellers are Irish people, and not a separate group, Something travellers always contended themselves in the face of real bigots. Nor did the demand for ethnicity emerge from within the travelling community. It is part of the agenda of a disappointed left which has abandoned economic socialism for identity politics.
The other interesting aspect of the election was the dismal performance of Sinn Féin. Part of that was to do with having picked a remarkably poor candidate, but it was mostly to do in campaign terms with her remarks on wearing the British Legion poppy, but perhaps more so as being the latest of the carpetbagging careerists to be caught telling porkies about the mythical “party wage.” As she well knows that was only ever deployed against elected representatives and staffers who were not part of the golden – and it is an apt phrase – circle. She hardly abandoned her media career to sink into the same social morass as the eijits who kept her seat warm through prison cells, active service, hunger strikes and when being a shinner was to place one’s name on a death squad list.
From an ideological and republican cultural perspective the collapse of the Shinner vote does raise some interesting questions. They have clearly pinned their flag to the mast of social democratic liberalism which, as the scale of the Higgins vote proved, might be prepared to pat the Shinners on the head for jettisoning all the backward nationalist stuff, but certainly would not have them around for dinner, or god forbid vote for them.
The gamble was that in abandoning any pretence of being republican in any meaningful sense of the word and replacing social radicalism with Clintonesque virtue signalling, that they would not only entice the liberals, but could continue to rely on the lads in the “Undefeated Army” tee shirts to stuff letter boxes and vote under the illusion that this has anything whatsoever to do with what the republican movement once stood for.
The flaw in that gamble and the reasoning that underlay it, was that the apparat believed that by Adams fading into the background, publicly at least, that his replacement at the helm by people with none of the baggage of the IRA – “what IRA” as Liadh, who might be forgiven as she only joined the Shinners ten years after the IRA had been swapped for a place in running the British controlled part of Ireland, asked during the election campaign.
25% of Sinn Féin voters opted for Casey rather than the party candidate. Other polls have indicated a significant gap between the views of SF supporters on a range of liberal causes celebre and the apparatchiks who as usual prefer to deal with “dissent” through expulsions and threats rather than debate.
The last time the claustrophobic liberal agenda championed by the apparat cost Sinn Féin electorally – in the 2007 southern general election – there was a prolonged post mortem. It concluded that the public noise on various issues had damaged them, and the liberals were briefly reigned in.
Not that the people who really control the party give a somersaulting fart about travellers or abortion or jailed Islamists who support female genital mutilation, or abortion or whatever. If it wins votes then it is all to the good. If not, then perhaps it is not so good. It seriously does not go beyond that.
So it will be interesting to see what the fall out from this disaster will be. The bosses might try and clamp down on the Care Bears, but the danger is – as the Official IRA/Workers Party discovered – that when you create a monster the monster sometimes has the annoying habit of ignoring the old men and wandering off into the liberal forest.
Follow Matt Treacy on Twitter @MattTreacy2