Previously, I posted this blog about things I had learnt about Irish politics. Since then, I’ve come across another batch:
1. The Irish think that the United States consists solely of New York, Boston and Chicago, and cannot comprehend that there are a large number of Americans with little love, and in some cases, hatred for the Irish.
2. Nor can we believe that there are huge sections of the world who have little or no idea who we are. In short, “everyone” does not love the Irish.
3. A large proportion of the population have no real idea how government services are funded, including the young woman who once asked me “why the government does not just print more money and give it to everyone?” Incidentally, apparently Weimar Germany is a soccer team.
4. Irish public bodies, including the houses of the Oireachtas, exist primarily to protect the terms and conditions of their employees. Their secondary function, if they have spare time, is the task for which they were nominally created, like driving buses, governing the country, that sort of thing.
5. Given the level of centralisation in the country, if activity in the Dail and Seanad chambers and county council chambers were suspended indefinitely, it would quite possibly be years before the public would detect any detrimental effect on the level of services provided by the state as a result. In fact, activity on the floor of the Finnish parliament would have a much more immediate effect on us.
6. The legal system has the same standing to large chunks of the political establishment as witchcraft has to many Africans. If a lawyer says something of positive benefit cannot be done for legal reasons, most Irish politicians surrender immediately, in many instances glad to have a de facto supernatural reason for not doing something.
7. It is almost impossible to find a defender of the Seanad or the European Parliament who would not quite fancy being a member of either body if no better offer were available.
8. There are people who genuinely believe that Ireland would be a better country if there were no private sector rich people living in it. Provided they left behind the big giant “make me rich” machines that every rich person is issued with at birth.
9. No race on Earth savours perceived betrayal and victimhood as much as the Irish. Our national headwear should be a leather “Pulp Fiction” gimp mask. Our greatest political celebrations are reserved for our defeats, such as our military inability to hold a post office and a biscuit factory. How many people know what day Ireland became an independent country? Can we even agree on a single date? 1921? 1922? 1937? 1948?