“The ordinary people” is a phrase that has been hi-jacked by every political conman and huckster since Roman times. He falsely claims to speaks for them, and gains his legitimacy through them, and therefore if you are against him, you’re an enemy of the ordinary people.
We’ve seen this fraud appear on our streets in recent days, on-the-make politicians whipping up mobs into emotional hysteria and then letting them loose. Paisley was a big man for this sort of thing, stirring up the red mist and then walking away if anyone ever got killed.
Now we have a type of politician who sees democratic elections and parliament as a mere tool that they’ll use when it suits, and discard when not. They’ll claim to be nationalists or socialists. They’re big on using the courts to defend their own rights, but will set up their own courts if it’s one of their number accused of rape. They’ll scream “human rights” if Gardai prevent them from going anywhere, but will arbitrarily detain Irish citizens who happen to hold government office. They’ll demand you pay more tax, but declare that they don’t have to pay their taxes if it doesn’t suit them, whether on water or illegal cigarettes or diesel. They’ll justify physical assaults on other citizens as acts of frustration, but if a young Garda defends herself it’s the state crushing opposition.
Fascism is a word that’s casually bandied around, and mostly with a racial connotation. But that’s just one form of fascism. Another form is a group of self-appointed demagogues who have won some votes and now decide to impose their will upon the majority, by a mixture of elections, intimidation and cherry-picking of which parts of a democratic society suit them and which don’t.
In recent years, all across Europe, we’ve seen these people use the frustrations of people to build a political movement founded on intimidation and fear and a belief that the law is not what the courts or parliament says it is, but what they decide in their back rooms.
They’ve finally on Irish streets. It’s time for democrats to suit up.