I actually started my previous post on abortion and Ireland with the demographic numbers because I wanted to address a second point, but the post was long enough already. Interestingly, some commentators brought the issue up anyway.
Ireland’s ruling classes have bought into the same progressive leftism as most of Europe, America, Canada, and Australia epitomised by their Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who makes Justin Trudeau look like Chuck Lidell. I can’t stand Theresa May’s fusspot head girl persona, but better her than the kind of wet lefty male the Irish have chosen to lead them (and no, this is nothing to do with his being gay; Exhibit 1, Exhibit 2).
While I was broadly supportive of the outcome of the referendum liberalising abortion in Ireland, there was something grotesque about the dancing and partying in front of Dublin castle when the result was known. There was a time when abortion was seen as a necessary evil, but deranged American feminists have since turned it into something to celebrate, boast of, and even desire. However, the Dubliners’ party was fully consistent with a country which has embraced modern progressivism. On every social issue I can think of – the environment, immigration, the role of government, individual liberty, identity politics (gender, feminism, LGBT, Islam, race) – the Irish ruling classes sound little different to those who wander the corridors of American academia. They’ve outsourced all their foreign policy (and a lot of domestic policy) to the EU who they look to as some sort of mother figure, running to her skirts to show off good marks on their homework at every opportunity.
Their stance on immigration is an interesting one. The Irish exercise their right to live and work in the UK by the million, and have spread themselves across the globe fleeing economic stupidity back home. Like most European nations, they are fully supportive of immigration from the developing world in order to counterbalance dwindling birthrates and the emigration of native-born Irish; much was made of Varadkar’s status as the son of Indian immigrants. Yet at the same time many Irish believe hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Ireland who are the descendants of British immigrants from centuries ago have no business being there; their arrival was “artificial”, hence their presence illegitimate. For all Ireland’s claim to be a modern, tolerant society, on the subject of Northern Ireland the opinions of many wouldn’t seem out of place at a Nuremburg rally.
The reason for this is because much of Ireland’s politics is driven by hatred of the English, and when this runs up against their liberalism on other issues the results can look strange indeed. Many Irish supported the Scottish in their bid to become independent from the rest of the UK, for example. Apparently Scotland has a natural right to be its own country, but Northern Ireland must some day be brought back under the rule of Dublin. They waffle on about “historical borders” and “artificial” populations and provinces as if they’re courtiers of the Hapsburg Empire, rather than citizens of a country which allows people to choose their gender.
The fact is, in historical timescales, Ireland’s independence from Britain will likely be a quaint footnote in an era of astonishing decency on the part of the mainland’s rulers. Had Hitler prevailed, it is unlikely Ireland’s neutrality – to date their most significant foreign policy decision – would have been recognised by the Nazis, no matter how many Irish leaders admired them. Had the Soviets swept across western Europe and captured Britain, Ireland would have been lumped in with the rest of the British Isles and little consideration given to the difference between them. I don’t see any major power on the horizon set to take over Europe, but looking two or three hundred years into the future it’s a fair bet that whatever regime is ruling mainland Britain will also be ruling Ireland. If demographic projections are anything to go by, this is a near certainty: there simply won’t be any Irishmen or British left, statistically speaking.
For all Ireland’s pride in independence from the hated English, the irony is they’re adopting policies which will see their people and culture disappear within a few generations. It’s not that abortion will lower their birthrates by much, although it’s unlikely to improve things; it’s more the case that a population which dances in the streets after legalising abortion is wedded to other policies which are suicidal in the long term. While there is a slim chance the populations of other countries might push back against such policies – Poland and Hungary are leading the way, with Brexit and Trump’s election providing glimmers of hope – Ireland’s hatred of England will blind them to any chance of reform.
Even now, a hundred years after Ireland gained its independence, you meet people born in the 1980s and later foaming at the mouth about British “oppression”. If you were born in the Republic of Ireland you’d need to be over a century old to remember British rule. Nobody born afterwards can possibly claim to be victims of British imperialism yet they do just that, often having arrived on the mainland to find work. We’re now at the stage where people’s grandfathers would have been only toddlers during the Easter Rising, but they speak as if it personally happened to them yesterday. The Irish aren’t alone in this of course; African Americans are increasingly claiming victim status based on the treatment of their slave ancestors, something which would have appalled the likes of Martin Luther King who was a lot more interested in the here and now. And how’s that working out for them? Are African Americans doing any better, progressing as a people by insisting the distant past governs swathes of their current lives? Hardly.
The Irish have serious problems in front of them, the same as most developed nations. They’re on a path to destruction but have chosen to keep fighting an enemy which has long since left them alone, and who they should be looking to as allies if they hope to survive. It’s going to be an interesting decade for Ireland, especially as the EU tightens its grip and becomes increasingly centralised and desperate for cash. Whatever happens, I don’t think we’re going to see much dancing in front of Dublin castle for a while.