Paddy Feelz

I found this article illuminating:

The stampede for Irish passports since the UK voted to leave the EU has been widely interpreted as an effort by Britons to avoid hassle at airports. Produce proof of an Irish granny and voilà, no matter what happens with Brexit, you have a burgundy passport and can travel freely throughout the EU.

Applications for Irish passports have risen to record levels, with almost 250,000 requests since January, a 30% increase from the same period last year, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Of the 860,000 Irish passports issued last year, about 200,000 applications came from the UK.

The vast majority of those 200,000 British people applying for Irish passports haven’t the slightest interest in Ireland; they simply want the convenience of an EU passport. There was a time when citizenship actually meant something, and if you speak to Irish nationalists they insist it still does – although only in the very narrow sense of not being British. But now Irish citizenship is becoming something akin to a flag of convenience in the shipping world whereby the holder knows nothing about the country and cares even less. But whereas flags of convenience were sold as revenue-raisers by tax havens or failed states, Ireland seems almost proud to be handing out passports to those fleeing the horrors of non-Brexit Britain.

I supposed we shouldn’t be too surprised. Ireland sold its culture to corporations decades ago, proliferating around the world one fake pub with tin-whistle band at a time. I wrote about this here:

It’s interesting to note how St. Patrick’s day has become a meaningless excuse to get hammered while displaying just about every ignorant stereotype about Irish people you can imagine.

From what I can see, Ireland is fast becoming a meaningless blob of woke multiculturalism and supplicant internationalism with a fake green tinge. Their economy is based on giant foreign corporations paying little tax, and their prime minister is a gay man of Indian extraction. Their most important political decision in a generation, the lifting of the ban on abortions, had them throwing street parties. Not that there’s anything wrong with those per se –  it’s up to the Irish how they run their affairs – but it does indicate they’ve abandoned conservatism and gone full-on liberal in the American sense. I’m not convinced this is a path to success, longevity, and happiness for any society.

What’s ironic is the Irish hate the English, particularly the London-based elites who look down their noses at everyone else. They complain the media reports clumsily on Ireland, except for the BBC who still think it’s part of Britain. Most of all, they detest the arrogant political classes who ride roughshod over ordinary people and are never held accountable for their actions. Which is fine, but they’ve now added Brexit to their list of gripes, as if it were the Westminster ruling classes who voted Leave and the ex-miners in the provinces who voted Remain. It’s an odd thing to hate the English elites for Brexit when it is they who’ve done all they can to scupper it. Indeed, the way things are going Theresa May might well turn out to be the most pro-Irish British prime minister in history.

This contradiction is illustrated further in the examples The Guardian uses of Brits who are looking to flee non-Brexit and settle in Ireland:

“I’m building up to be an Irish citizen, that’s the long-term goal,” said Keith Donaldson, 37, an office manager from Jarrow in north-east England who moved to Dublin last year.

He has no Irish lineage but can apply for naturalisation after five years’ residency. “Some things you can’t do unless you’re a citizen,” Donaldson said. “I’ve started getting involved in various political groups. It’s about contributing, being a member of Irish society. I identify myself as being a Brexit refugee.”

Remarkably, the Irish seem happy to welcome Englishmen whose views are indistinguishable from those of the Westminster elites to come and meddle in their politics before he’s even got citizenship. This is quite some shift in attitudes.

“Moving here gave me the possibility to be here long enough and apply for citizenship. I have to be here for five out of nine years,” said Alexandre de Menezes, 39, a dual British-Brazilian national who teaches soil microbiology at National University of Ireland Galway. “Being half British was always important to my identity, but Brexit took some of the shine away.”

So he was already in Ireland.

Kate Ryan, 40, a food writer from Bristol, married an Irish man and lived in Clonakilty, County Cork, for more than a decade without thinking much about nationality. Then came the referendum.

“It was always in the back of my mind that I would go for citizenship, but Brexit has forced my hand,” she said. This week, Ryan lodged an application for naturalisation. In the absence of Irish lineage, it entailed reams of paperwork and will cost about €1,500 (£1,285). “I decided to crack on and get this thing done.”

This is a paperwork exercise which she probably should have done anyway.

Ryan is proud of her British heritage and regularly visits her parents – who voted for Brexit – in Wales. But she feels European. Becoming Irish would underline that identity: “I see it as an opportunity to redefine who I am and my place in the world.”

So she wants to become an Irish citizen in order that she identifies with something else, and her place in the world is defined by the paperwork she holds. Being a member of a modern, western society seems to have a lot to do with worshiping political institutions and little to do with shared history and culture.

Mike Clarke, who recently left Brighton to take up a post as director of campus infrastructure at Trinity College Dublin, envisages putting down roots. “I plan to stay in Ireland as long as I can. UK plc will take an awful long time to heal,” he said.

Clarke, who grew up in Croydon, south London, has an Irish grandparent, so has a smooth path to citizenship. “I’m a very proud Englishman and British citizen. But I think of myself as European,” he said.

I’m a very proud Englishman and British citizen but I’ll become Irish via bureaucratic fiat because I think of myself as European. Personally I have no problem with Ireland inviting in people who want to dine at the smorgasbord of multicultural identity, I’m just not sure their society will be strengthened by their doing so.

Bill Foster, the managing director of the Irish division of the immigration consultancy Fragomen, said he probably would not stay long enough to obtain citizenship. But for now, he is glad to have swapped London for Dublin.

“There’s a feeling here that we want to move forward and not hanker back to the past. Living here has made me feel more European in many ways,” he said.

I find it hard to believe he found London a hotbed of English nationalist Brexiteers, so what I think what he’s saying is, having moved from London to Dublin, he’s noticed he’s now living among a lot more Europeans.

What’s obvious from all this is the Irish professional classes have a lot more in common with the English professional classes than they think, and the Irish ruling classes aren’t a whole lot different from those who are squatting in Westminster. It’s only the fault lines of history that are preventing them seeing where the real divides are.


Ireland’s Future

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.


Abortion and a United Ireland

In his most recent podcast, The Zman touched on something interesting about Ireland’s decision to remove restrictions on abortion, and that is its fertility rate. As of 2017, the Republic of Ireland’s Total Fertility Rate (TFR) stood at 1.97. It is reckoned a TFR of 2.1 is required to maintain a population size in a developed country, so in other words, Ireland’s population is shrinking. This situation isn’t unique to Ireland – fertility rates are collapsing all over Europe – but it effects Ireland in unique ways.

One is that a majority of people in the Republic of Ireland wish to see reunification with Northern Ireland (currently a part of the United Kingdom). The only feasible way this will occur is if a majority in Northern Ireland vote for reunification, and as things stand this doesn’t look like happening; if Wikipedia’s sources are correct, even a majority of Catholics don’t seem keen on reunification while the Protestants are overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the UK. The hopes of those dreaming of a United Ireland rest entirely on demographic changes, the argument being that Catholics have more children than Protestants so eventually Northern Ireland will switch to majority Catholic.

However, having secured abortion rights for those in the Republic of Ireland, pro-abortionists are now switching their attention to Northern Ireland, where it remains highly restricted. The main obstacle in the path of liberalising abortion laws in Northern Ireland is the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which represents Protestants and forms a crucial part of the coalition in Westminister propping up Theresa May’s government. On the other side you have Sinn Féin, which represents Catholics and supported the repeal of the 8th amendment to the Republic’s constitution, who are now in a bit of a bind over what stance to take in Northern Ireland. The last thing Sinn Féin wants is Catholics in Northern Ireland having abortions, because churning out kids is the only way to achieve their ultimate goal of a United Ireland. But having jumped on the liberalisation bandwagon in the Republic, they can’t really oppose it in the North, hence the accusation of double standards. Meanwhile, if this article is true, while the DUP is hardline on abortion its supporters are more liberal, but in the case of Sinn Féin it’s the exact opposite. According to Amnesty:

68% people from a Catholic background support access to abortion in cases of rape or incest, with just 17% disagreeing.  Among respondents from a Protestant background, the figures were 72% supporting increased abortion access with just 16% disagreeing.

Typically for Amnesty they spin the results to suit their agenda. Reading the above you’d think 68% of Catholics and 72% of Protestants support abortion, but looking more carefully you see 68% of Catholics only support abortion in the case of rape or incest; they don’t say how many Catholics support abortion outside these cases, almost certainly because the numbers don’t suit the narrative. But it appears 72% of Protestants support abortion in general, not just in specific cases.

In other words, the good people of Ireland have voted to allow greater access to abortion which has now heaped pressure on their brethren in the North to follow suit. The only trouble is, the Catholics in the North don’t want it whereas the Protestants – the citizens if not their political leaders – don’t seem to mind. On current trends, I expect it is only a matter of time before abortion laws in Northern Ireland are liberalised to match those of the Republic of Ireland and mainland Britain. One can probably assume any Protestant who wants an abortion goes to the UK and has one, but Catholics will be more reluctant. The result of liberalised abortion laws in Northern Ireland will therefore be fewer Catholic babies being born, thus thwarting the already slim hopes of achieving a Catholic majority sufficient for reunification.

What amuses me is a majority in the Republic of Ireland want to see a United Ireland via demographic means, i.e. an increase in the Catholic population, but at the same time two-thirds of them just voted to make abortions easier to obtain, which will almost certainly have the long-term effect of reducing the number of Catholic babies being born in Northern Ireland. I expect over the coming period we’re going to see two things: Irish liberals attempting to foist unwanted societal changes on Catholics in the North (but blaming the DUP for obstructionism), and United Ireland fanatics (i.e. Sinn Féin) depriving their Northern brethren of rights they’ve just demanded of themselves. We should remember this when people in the Republic of Ireland tell us how concerned they are about the rights of Northern Irishmen in the wake of Brexit.